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SMC Tennis: Belles suffer tough loss to Kalamazoo

Molly Sammon | Monday, April 20, 2009

After last Wednesday’s big victory over Bethel, it looked like the Belles may have found the right combination for MIAA success. But any optimism was doused Saturday with an 8-1 loss to Kalamazoo.

“They were very steady and had an especially tough lower part of their lineup,” Saint Mary’s coach Dale Campbell said of the Hornets.

There were crucial parts of the match where the Belles (6-8, 1-3 MIAA) showed prominence as a team and capable of responding to pressure.

“Camille Gebert played tough at number two as she has all year,” Campbell said. “She is a leader and has pulled through even when the team has not. Camille dominated her match.”

Though junior team captain Gebert was the only Belle who pulled out a win in Saturday’s match, the rest of the squad battled tough and lost only narrowly.

“Betsy Reed also fought really hard at No. 4 and almost came back, and Jillian Hurley lost a close match with an excellent opponent at No. 1 singles,” Campbell said.

Saint Mary’s set itself up for disappointment Saturday after poor results in the early doubles matches.

“Most crucial was losing all three doubles, which is difficult to come back from,” Campbell said. “Most of the singles matches were close, however.”

Despite the loss, the team’s attitude still boasts positivity for the rest of the season.

“I think the team was disappointed in the loss, but viewed the match as an opportunity to improve from our mistakes,” said Hurley. “No one wants to lose matches, and this loss hit us hard, but we are moving forward and definitely looking to improve our games.”

Even after the loss, the Belles still felt that they could compete with the top teams in the MIAA.

“We had the advantage that Kalamazoo had lost to teams that we had lost to, so in regards to our records, we were fairly equal,” Hurley said. “In addition, we beat them last year, so we had that edge over them.”

Next up for the Belles is a make-up match against Trine at home Monday.