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SMC Tennis; Saint Mary’s falls to Division II foe

Joe Meixell | Monday, March 17, 2008

Saint Mary’s fell to 4-4 on the year this weekend when it lost to Division II Indiana Wesleyan this Saturday. 6-3. The No. 16 Wildcats move to 2-1 for the spring season, and 14-1 for the year.

Saturday’s match was the first for the Belles since coming back from spring break, and their first dual match of the spring. Saint Mary’s coach Chuck Rubino was looking for Saturday to give his team another chance at competing against a strong team before the Belles take on conference foe Albion to open their MIAA season.

“I think we benefited as a team from the match against IWU,” sophomore Camille Gebert said. “They were a very solid team, and we stepped up our games, despite our loss. All of the matches were tight, and it’s just a matter of getting over the hump. Playing a team of that caliber is good preparation for our first MIAA dual match on Tuesday.”

One of Saint Mary’s goals for Saturday was improving its doubles play, an area the young Belles squad struggled with over break.

“We definitely still need work on our doubles,” Gebert said. “Our singles matches take care of themselves. However, in close team matches, getting the doubles points will be crucial.”

The pair of sophomore Lisa Rubino and freshman Betsy Reed were the only successful doubles duo for the Belles on Saturday, earning their third win together and took down Wildcats Eva Delk and Lisa Massey, 8-4. Rubino and Reed are now at 3-3 as Saint Mary’s No. 2 doubles pair.

Sophomore Camille Gebert and freshman Jillian Hurley, the No. 1 doubles pair for the Belles, lost 8-4 on Saturday, moving them to 3-5 for this spring. No. 3 doubles of freshmen Jessica Camp and Jessica Kosinski lost 8-6 to Wesleyan’s Courtney Kooyers and Laura Helm, putting them at 4-4.

On the singles side, Saint Mary’s had a stronger showing, but not by much. No. 1 singles Gebert defeated Wesleyan’s Sarah Bauss 6-2, 6-2, putting her singles record at 4-4 on the season. Freshmen Jillian Hurley kept up her momentum from spring break, where she went 6-1. Hurley overcame Wesleyan’s Julia Hedgebeth 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, bringing her to 7-1 overall for singles. That was the Belles’ last win on the day, as freshmen Reed, Kosinski, Camp and sophomore Rubino all fell.

Saint Mary’s prepares to start their conference season this Tuesday at Albion, last season’s MIAA co-champion.

“It was a challenging team to play for our first match, post-spring break, however we held our own,” Gebert said. “We might not have won on paper, but we are starting to gradually pull everything together, and the improvement is starting to show. I am excited to see what we can do within our conference.”