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SMC Tennis: Belles blanked by Albion in crushing defeat

Greg Arbogast | Wednesday, April 19, 2006

After its best victory of the season last Wednesday, Saint Mary’s suffered what appeared to be its worst defeat Tuesday night as the Belles fell to Albion 9-0.

“A lot of the matches were closer than they showed,” senior co-captain Kristen Palombo said. “We had a lot of games that went into deuce, but we just weren’t able to convert any of the big points.”

The Belles lost all three doubles matches in straight sets to begin the afternoon. Kelly McDavitt and Calie Mulcahy lost to Emily Stocker and Katie Tornga 6-3, 6-4. Grace Gordon and Kristen Palombo lost to Mara Rendina and Vicky Seiter 6-3, 6-2 and Mary Elizabeth Cambell and Tara O’Brien fell to Emily Gundersen and Betsy Netherton 6-3, 6-1.

“It was tough going into the singles matches after winning none of the doubles,” Palombo said. “It took some of our confidence away.”

Saint Mary’s didn’t fare much better in the singles matches, as the Britons swept those as well. Melissa Dingler did manage to force a third set in her match against Gundersen, but every other Belle was defeated in straight sets.

No. 1 Kristen Palombo lost to Katie Tornga 6-0, 6-4. No. 2 Kelly McDavitt was defeated by Betsy Netherton 7-6(3), 6-2. No. 3 Calie Mulcahy fell to Stocker 6-1, 6-0. No. 4 Mary Elizabeth Campbell pushed the second set to extra games but ultimately fell to Rendina 6-3, 7-5. Seiter needed only the minimal amount of games to defeat No. 5 Tara O’Brien 6-0, 6-0, and Dingler lost to Gunderson 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Despite the loss, Saint Mary’s walked away from Tuesday’s match with its confidence intact. The Belles also talked about how they would learn from Tuesday’s match for the future.

“There’s no shame in losing to a team of Albion’s caliber, so we can’t get too negative on ourselves,” Palombo said. “We learned that Albion has a big intimidation factor, but all of us were able to stay close in our matches. It’s comforting to know that we can stay with them.”