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SMC Tennis: Belles close regular season with win

Andrew Owens | Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Belles picked up a strong victory in their final match Monday before the MIAA Championships with an 8-1 victory over Olivet at Michigan State University.
Saint Mary’s (11-8, 4-4 MIAA) has now won the last three conference matches of its regular season, with victories over Bethel and MIAA rival Adrian last week.
“It’s always good to end with a conference win, and we’ve won two in a row now,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “We have some momentum leading up to the tournament, which is good.”
The No. 3 doubles duo of junior Jessica Kosinski and freshman Care Rectanus began the day with an 8-2 win over Jenna Baker and Leanne Scudder. Senior captain Camille Gebert and junior Franca Peluso extended the Belles lead with their 8-2 victory over Olivet’s Celeste Gruber and Kelsey Singer.
Saint Mary’s suffered its first and only loss of the day when No. 1 doubles pair of Jillian Hurley and Mary Therese Lee were defeated by Giana Guerra and Caitlin LaValley 8-3.
The Belles came back in the singles divisions, and let no one stand in their way as they won all six of the singles matches.
At No. 1 singles, Hurley defeated LaValley in a 6-1, 6-2 victory while Lee picked up a 6-0, 6-3 win over Paige Sedgewick at the No. 5 position, with both players giving up only three games in each of their matches.
Gebert won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles over Guerra in yet another victory for the team leader while Peluso defeated Gruber 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3. At fourth singles, Kosinski beat Singer in a three set match, 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7).
Rounding out the singles was junior Monica Way, winning 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 against Baker.
The Belles now turn their attention to the MIAA Championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Hope College in Holland, Mich. In preparation for the tournament, Campbell knows where his team needs to keep their focus.
“We have two more practices,” Campbell said. “We need to divide the attention between singles and doubles, work on a few strategic things, and play more aggressively.”
Saint Mary’s enters the tournament ranked fifth behind Calvin, Hope, Kalamazoo and Albion.
“We just need to believe in our shots and our ability to hit the shots we know we needs,” Campbell said. “We need to make teams react to us in double as opposed to us reacting to them.”