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SMC TENNIS: Saint Mary’s shuts out Tri-State 9-0 in first MIAA match

Patrick McCabe | Wednesday, April 6, 2005

The Belles defeated Tri-State 9-0 Tuesday to open the MIAA season and capture third place in league standings behind Albion and Hope.

“It was definitely a good match for us. We really needed it for our confidence, especially after our loss at Chicago,” co-captain Kristen Palombo said. “We were hoping ardently for this outcome, and we played according to plan. No one played out of their minds, although I expect some to do so Thursday against Hope. Today, everyone did what they were supposed to do.”

Saint Mary’s started out sluggishly but quickly recovered.

“We played doubles first which is unusual. But that favored our [superior] conditioning,” Palombo said.

Palombo said the hiatus from competitions due to inclement weather didn’t harm the Belles’ initial play.

“It was just one of those days. They played a weird style,” she said. “The doubles partners we faced were really good servers. Their serves were their biggest weapons and hard to break. We needed a little time to adjust to playing.”

Palombo also pointed out that slight fatigue and tightness from the lengthy journey to Tri-State’s campus might have slowed the start.

But finally playing a match buoyed the Belles’ spirits.

Although some played in a scrimmage Saturday, nothing replaces the value and experience of actual competition, Palombo said.

“We were really happy to play. We didn’t have a walkover, and this was much better than a scrimmage and should set us up to perform well in our next match,” Palombo said.

Coach Dee Stevenson was not available for comment Tuesday.