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SMC Tennis: Belles hope to right the ship against Hope

Andrew Owens | Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Belles will take on Hope College today at home looking to snap a four-match losing streak.

“I think that the key to defeating Hope is patience,” senior captain Camille Gebert said. “We need to have the patience to stay in those long points and to keep fighting in every match. It is going to be a matter of one or two matches tomorrow, and if we can stay relaxed and confident, our chances of winning will be higher.”

The Belles lost to rival Kalamazoo College 6-3 Saturday to drop to 8-7 (2-3 MIAA) on the season.

Despite the setback, the match featured several bright points for the Belles.

The doubles team of juniors Jillian Hurley and Mary Therese Lee once again pulled out a victory for Saint Mary’s, as they defeated Kelsey Hassevoort and Paula Silverman 8-6.
Gebert also won her match, winning a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Hassevoort.

Saturday’s success marked the third victory in four matches for both Gebert and the No. 2 doubles combination of Hurley and Lee.

At No. 4 singles, junior Franca Peluso brought home the third victory for the Belles. She defeated Kelsey VanDeWege 6-3, 6-2.

“We can take away from Kalamazoo’s match the fact that every point really matters in the overall outcome of the match,” Gebert said. “We know that doubles is going to be crucial, and if we can get at least one of the doubles points, we will have a better chance of outing Hope at the end.”

The Hope match begins a difficult stretch of three matches in three days for the Belles. Non-conference opponent Bethel comes to town Thursday and conference opponent Adrian will travel to South Bend Friday in what will be the final home match of the season for the Belles and the last of Gebert’s impressive career.

“We are looking to keep on making improvements,” Gebert said. “We have put a lot of hard work into this season and now it is just a matter of waiting for it to pay off.”

Saint Mary’s will have one match next week before participating in the MIAA Championships next Friday and Saturday in Holland, Mich. The Belles face off against Hope Wednesday at 4 p.m.