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SMC Tennis: Belles drop season opener over weekend

Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wins at No. 3 and No. 5 singles were not enough to lift the Belles in their season opener at Olivet Nazarene on Friday, when Saint Mary’s fell to the Tigers, 7-2, in Park Forest, Ill.

The Tigers (1-0) displayed the power at the top of their lineup, winning all three doubles matches and the top singles matches, as well, to knock out the Belles (0-1).

The Belles’ top doubles duo of senior Jillian Hurley and freshman Mary Catherine Faller fell to the Tigers’ Aziza Butoyi and Taylor Stephens, 8-1. The No. 2 pair of seniors Mary Therese Lee and Franca Peluso and the No. 3 pair of seniors Kate Grabarek and Jessica Kosinski both put up strong efforts but fell, 8-6.

On the singles side, Hurley was bested in No. 1 singles by Butoyi, a top-50 player in the NAIA. At No. 2 singles, a late rally by Kosinski was not enough, as she lost 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) to Olivet Nazarene’s Erica Engelbrech.

The Belles were able to triumph in a pair of singles matches, however, as Grabarek won 6-4, 6-3, at No. 5 singles and Faller won at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 3-2.

Saint Mary’s will travel to Case Western on Saturday for a 4 p.m. nonconference match.