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SMC Tennis: Belles open season in Orlando

Nathaniel Lee | Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Saint Mary’s tennis team kicked of the season with a tough lineup of non-league opponents on their spring break trip to Orlando, Fla.

The Belles compiled a 4-4 record through Thursday under the direction of first year head coach Dale Campbell.

“I think we fared pretty well on this trip given our experience,” Campbell said. “It was a good team effort, especially since we played a lot tougher teams than we usually face at this point early in the season.”

In their season opener, the Belles rolled over St. Francis (Ill.) 9-0. Sophomore Jillian Hurley won at No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-2, followed by junior Camille Gebert’s 6-2, 6-1 and sophomore Jessica Kosinski’s 6-1, 6-0 wins at No. 2 and No. 3 singles. Hurley and Gebert captured No. 1 doubles 8-3, while Kosinski and Sophomore Betsy Reed teamed up for the No. 2 doubles win.

On the second day of competition, Saint Mary’s beat Aquinas 7-2 before falling to

Bethel 9-0. Hurley won her first match at No. 1 singles 6-3, 6-0 before falling to Bethel’s Ayda Ardila 6-2, 6-2. In the second spot, Gebert defeated Aquinas’ Emily Decker 6-2, 6-1 before falling to Bethel 6-0, 6-1. Hurley and Gebert defeated Aquinas’ top doubles team 8-3 before falling to Bethel’s best pair 8-0.

Saint Mary’s bounced back with another dominating 9-0 win over Bryn

Mawr, though. The Belles dropped only one set through then entire match. Hurley beat Karen Ginsburg 6-3, 6-0, while Gelbert took her match 6-2, 2-6, 6-0 and Kosinski won 6-1, 6-3. At No. 5 singles, Belles sophomore Jessica Camp dominated twelve straight games to win 6-0, 6-0. Once again, the Hurley/Gebert and Reed/Kosinski teams took home the wins, at 8-3 and 8-0, respectively.

“We have really been improving as a team,” stated Campbell. “Our goal is to win the conference championship, and if we get better every week we will be able to contend with the best teams in the MIAA.”

The Belles hit a tough stretch and dropped their next three matches of the trip, first falling to St. Scholastica 7-2. Earning wins for Saint Mary’s were Gebert at No. 2 over Paula Beckerman 6-3, 6-4 and Camp defeating Natalie Urick 6-2, 6-1.

In their next two matches, the Belles were edged 5-4 by Haverford and fell to No. 22 College of New Jersey 8-1. Against Haverford the top two doubles teams were barely bested, with the first Belle win coming at No. 3 doubles behind sophomore Mary Theresa Lee and Camp’s 8-4 win. Reed, Camp and sophomore Laura Arnold all picked up wins in singles.

Against New Jersey, Gebert snagged the only win defeating Stefanie Haar 6-2, 6-4. In their final match of the trip, the Belles bounced back with another dominating performance over Lincoln University, 9-0.

“I think we played best against New Jersey,” stated Campbell. “They are a really good ranked team, and I saw a lot of players stepping up to face the challenge.”