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SMC Tennis: Hope snaps win streak in conference contest

Greg Arbogast | Thursday, March 30, 2006

Saint Mary’s fell to conference powerhouse Hope College 6-3 Wednesday afternoon, failing to extend its MIAA winning streak to three matches in a row.

“We’re obviously really disappointed because this could have been a big win for us,” Belles senior Kristen Palombo said.

The Belles only managed to win one of the three doubles matches before losing four of six singles contests. Picking up wins for Saint Mary’s were Mary Elizabeth Cambell at No. 4 singles, Melissa Dingler at No. 6 singles and the team of Tara O’Brien and Mary Elizabeth Campell at No. 3 doubles.

At No. 3 singles for Saint Mary’s, Caile Mucahy won the first set of her match against Hope’s Ashley Leary 7-5, but she fell 6-4 in the two remaining sets.

The doubles team of Grace Gordon and Palombo also took its match to three sets, losing 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

But in each of Saint Mary’s other four defeats, Hope won at least one of the two sets by a score of 6-0.

In singles, Hope senior Annesliese Fox defeated Palombo 6-0, 6-4 at No. 1, Flying Dutch freshman Samantha Stille topped Belles junior Kelly McDavitt 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 and Hope junior Amy Norris beat Saint Mary’s sophomore Tara O’Brien 6-1, 6-0.

In doubles, the Flying Dutch team of Fox and Stille topped Mulcahy and McDavitt 6-3, 6-0.

Despite the loss, Palombo said the Belles picked up valuable experience as they faced some of the best players in the conference on Wednesday. Fox has won the MIAA championship the last three years, and she has only lost one singles match in her conference career. That loss came last year to Saint Mary’s top singles player – Palombo.

“We’re going to go back and regroup for our upcoming conference matches,” Palombo said.

Saint Mary’s next plays Friday against Olivet Nazarene in Wheaton, Ill., and its next conference match will be Saturday at Alma.