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Belles drop meets to Albion and Calvin

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 31, 2005

The Belles suffered defeat this weekend against two conference opponents.

Both Albion and Calvin came out on top of the Belles, by scores of 157-72 and 184-45, respectively. The three-team meet was hosted by Albion, currently ranked at fifth place in the MIAA conference standings, one spot above the Belles.

Calvin currently sits in first place, with a 5-0 record. The team dominated the majority of the women’s races, capturing firsts in nine of the 13 events.

The Belles struggled early in the race against the two teams, each with about twice as many swimmers as the Saint Mary’s roster.

The first event of the afternoon seemed to provide a strong start for the Belles, who were coming off a loss to Kalamazoo one week ago. The Saint Mary’s 200-yard medley relay team made up of sophomores Bridget Lebiedz and Nicole Korte, freshman Kelly Tighe and junior Sarah Nowak placed third in the event.

However, in the next women’s event, the 1,000-yard freestyle, the Belles were unable to secure a scoring spot. For the rest of the afternoon, the Belles seemed to be pushed out of top scoring positions by an array of swimmers from their opponents.

The sheer numbers of the other teams seemed to be the biggest factor in the outcome of the meet. Calvin has a women’s team made up of 22 swimmers and Albion has 29 swimmers on the team.

With a Saint Mary’s roster comprised of only 14 swimmers, the Belles could not keep up with the depth of their opponents.

The only first-place finish for the Belles on Saturday came from Nowak in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing in 2 minutes, 16.84 seconds. Nowak also came in second in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Junior Kelly Nelis came in third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.62, as well as taking fourth in the 500-yard freestyle. Junior Katie Dingeman placed fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing in 2:34.52. Lebiedz and Nelis also contributed to the second-place finish made by the 200-yard freestyle relay, along with teammates Bridget Green and Lisa Balog.

Saturday’s meet marked the end of the regular season for the Belles, who finished with a 1-5 record in the conference. In two weeks, they will travel to Hope for the MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships.