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SMC Tennis: Belles drop match 6-3 to Calvin

Andrew Owens | Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Belles showed no signs of rust following a layoff over Easter break but were unable to overcome a superior team in their 6-3 loss to No. 13 Calvin College Wednesday.

“We played a really tough team,” said junior Kate Grabarek, an Observer sportswriter. “It shows us where we are. We lost to them 8-1 last year, so this shows we have improved. They are a very solid team.”

Two of the Belles’ three points came in singles play, as senior Camille Gebert won her match at No. 2 singles 6-4, 6-4, and Grabarek earned a 6-0, 6-4 victory at No. 6 singles.

The other victory for the Belles came from the No. 2 doubles duo. Juniors Jillian Hurley and Mary Therese Lee won an 8-4 decision over Jill VanVeen and Rachel Strikwerda.

The rest over Easter break allowed some Saint Mary’s players to heal their injuries and return to full health as they head toward the stretch run. The last match the team competed in was a 9-0 victory over Trine College on March 30.

The Belles (8-4, 2-1 MIAA) will travel to the University of Chicago Monday in their final non-conference match of the season. The Maroons are currently ranked third in the nation and will provide another challenge for the Belles as the regular season begins to wind down.

“We’re getting to the end and we’re looking to pull out some wins,” Grabarek said. “The University of Chicago is extremely tough and will be a good test for us. We also have a couple matches (at Albion and at Kalamazoo) later in the week.”

The MIAA conference championships will be held three weeks from Friday, and Grabarek said the Belles expect to make some noise in the tournament and create trouble for teams like Calvin (11-2, 4-0).

“We had several close matches,” Grabarek said. “If we see them again and play well, things could go differently.”