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SMC GOLF: Belles hope to bounce back after past losses

Justin Beltz | Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Saint Mary’s looks to bounce back today after a challenging performance last weekend at the Notre Dame Invitational as they travel to Calvin College for the first of three MIAA meets this season.

Over the weekend, the Belles competed against Division I competition for the first time all season, and as expected, it was a challenge.

Adding to the difficulty of the competition was the fact that senior captain Nicole Bellino was forced to withdraw. She is expected to play in the match today.

Even though the Belles brought up the rear of the field last weekend, they were certainly not blown out by the competition.

Per the team’s goal, players’ scores improved as the weekend progressed. They attributed the improvement to getting comfortable with the greens and to their adjustment to the pressure of playing against such formidable opponents.

“I think it’s good for smaller schools to play bigger competition every once in a while,” co-captain Kristen Fantom said. “Also, once we got over getting used to the greens we were able to get down our scores.”

Today is the first outing when results will count in the standings as the Belles attempt to defend their MIAA crown for the fourth straight season. Rivals Olivet and Albion, along with host Calvin College, look to challenge the Belles as they attempt the four-peat.

The outing will be played at Calvin’s home course, the Thornapple Pointe Golf Club, located just east of Grand Rapids.

The course is relatively short, measuring only 5,302 yards. This should play to the advantage of the Belles, who are known for their excellent short game and work around the greens.

The Calvin outing is the first of three regular season outings the Belles will participate in, before heading to the MIAA championships, slated for the weekend of Oct. 7-8 at the Bedford Valley Country Club.

Getting the regular season off on the right foot is essential to another successful season on the greens, and the Belles are looking for a very solid performance today and the rest of the season.