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SMC Tennis: Squad travels to face IW after fast home start

Joe Meixell | Friday, March 23, 2007

After crushing Olivet 8-1 in its home opener, Saint Mary’s (5-4, 1-0) will travel this weekend to take on Indiana Wesleyan University.

The Belles got off to a good start this season with the Olivet victory Wednesday – the team’s first conference match.

“Though we struggled a little bit in doubles, we did very well in singles,” Belles coach Dee Stevenson said.

But Saint Mary’s will face a much tougher opponent Saturday against the Wildcats.

Indiana Wesleyan had a perfect season last fall, with a conference record of 8-0 and an overall record of 13-0 – outscoring opponents 106-9 in dual matches.

“It’ll be a tough match,” Stevenson said. “They’re probably one of the top schools in our division throughout the Midwest.”

Saint Mary’s will look to avenge last year’s 8-1 loss to Indiana Wesleyan, as well. Belles senior captain Kelly McDavitt leads the team at the No. 1 singles spot and freshman Camille Gebert plays behind her in the second spot. The duo also comprises the Belles’ top doubles team.

Indiana Wesleyan boasts three All-conference players from the fall season in junior Sarah Bauss, junior Kristi Haddad and sophomore Julia Hedgebeth.

“This year we’re going into the season with a new attitude,” McDavitt said. “Since Indiana Wesleyan is not in our conference, we are focusing on going into the match with a positive attitude. Though they are a strong team, we hope that it will give us good practice and prepare us for the rest of our conference season.”

The match will take place Saturday at noon at Indiana Wesleyan.