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Belles to take on Tri-State

Meaghan Veselik | Friday, April 11, 2008

Saint Mary’s suffered another tough conference loss Wednesday at Hope, but will look to come back Saturday as they take on Tri-State (3-7, 0-4 MIAA) at home. The Belles (5-9, 1-3 MIAA) were defeated Wednesday 8-1 by the Flying Dutch.

“Tri-State hasn’t done real well in the conference,” Belles coach Chuck Rubino said. “We expect them to be competitive, but we’re pretty confident we should be able to beat them.”

Saint Mary’s freshman Jillian Hurley was the only player victorious for the Belles at Hope Wednesday, winning the No. 2 singles 6-0, 6-0 over Hope’s Christine Garcia. Her victory brings her singles record to 12-2. Hurley’s success at singles was not echoed in doubles play as she and partner Camille Gebert lost 8-2.

The Belles were swept in doubles, with the No. 2 duo of sophomore co-captain Lisa Rubino and freshman Betsy Reed falling 8-6 to Hope’s Christine Garcia and Danielle Werley, putting their record at 5-7 as a pair. The No. 3 doubles team of freshmen Jessica Kosinski and Franca Peluso were defeated 8-5 by Flying Dutch Katherine Garcia and Nicole Spanguolo.

“We just have to get more consistent,” Rubino said. “We made too many errors, especially unforced errors at Hope. Two of our doubles played really well, and Jillian [Hurley] dominated at No. 2 singles, but we had errors everywhere else.”

Consistency from match to match has been one of Saint Mary’s biggest issues this season, but with a team of two sophomores and eight freshmen, Rubino has been able to put it into perspective.

“We make errors at crucial points,” Rubino said. “We have to get over the hump, and it is part of the growing process.”

Fortunately for the Belles, the tough competition they’ve had to face has paid off in some matches, like their 9-0 sweep of Olivet April 1. Tri-State has not had fared as well, and will hopefully prove to be easy competition for Saint Mary’s.

“They have only six players, so not a lot of depth,” Rubino said. “It will be a good match for us to tune up for Bethel [on April 15].”

Saint Mary’s takes on Tri-State at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at home.