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SMC Tennis: Belles look to rebound against conference foe

Matthew Robison | Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coming off a shutout loss to national powerhouse Chicago Monday, the Belles will look to take their exposed weaknesses and turn them into strengths today against Albion.

Saint Mary’s (8-5, 2-2 MIAA) has had trouble with Albion (9-6, 3-1) in the past, so today’s matchup will allow the Belles to avenge last year’s sweep and return to the form they exhibited early on in conference play.

“Last year [Albion was] fourth in the conference and they beat us twice,” Belles coach Dave   Campbell said. “But we had a close match with them the second time.”

Close will not cut it this year.

“They are a very good team, but we can beat them,” Campbell said.
Albion is also coming off a loss, a road to defeat to conference foe Hope, so they will be looking to get back into tip-top shape as well.

The loss to Chicago showed the Belles how they measure up against the stiffest competition in the MIAA and what they must do in order to beat the best.

“We’ve raised our level a bit,” Campbell said. “We’re more aggressive in doubles and smarter in singles.”

For better or for worse, Campbell said the Belles will not take any emotional baggage into the Albion match. What they will do is come in and play their game the best way they know how — an attacking style of play in doubles and precise play in singles.

The importance of today’s match is two-fold for the Belles. Not only do they want to win to put themselves in better position for the MIAA Tournament, but they also want to be able to take pride in the way they perform in the conference.

“[Today’s match is] important for the seeding of the tournament,” Campbell said. “We take pride in every conference match and we want to win every one.”

With the right pieces in place, Saint Mary’s has the capability to make a move in the right direction in the MIAA. Campbell does not want his players to try to play outside themselves, nor does he expect more out of his players than he knows they can deliver. But with what they have, he believes they can win.

“My expectations are for us to play at the level we can play,” Campbell said. “If we do that, we can win. We expect to win.”