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SMC Tennis: Belles still adjusting to underclassmen roster

Matt Unger | Friday, February 25, 2011

Saint Mary’s travels to Cleveland to face Case Western Reserve and John Carroll this weekend, hoping to rebound from a disappointing opening performance.

“In our first match, we weren’t quite up to the challenge, but I think … we got over our nerves and gained valuable experience,” Belles coach Dave Campbell said about his team’s 7-2 loss to NAIA foe Olivet Nazarene Friday.

With five seniors and four freshmen on the 10-player roster, the Belles (0-1) feature a blend of experience and youth.

Senior captain Jillian Hurley, who plays No. 1 singles, is leading the way for the Belles. Hurley also teams with freshman Mary Catherine Faller to form the Belles’ top doubles duo.

After losing both singles and doubles matches last weekend, Hurley, the No. 24 ranked player in the central region last year, will work to capture her first match win of the season this weekend. The Belles’ doubles teams will also seek to post a win after losing all three matches to Olivet Nazarene.

The Belles will first seek to avenge a home loss from last season to Case Western Reserve (3-2). Despite losing their past two matches, including one to No. 4 Chicago, the Spartans pose a formidable challenge. They are led by sophomore number one singles player Erika Lim.

Meanwhile, John Carroll will play its first match since September, when the Blue Streaks went 1-2 and were shutout 9-0 by Case Western Reserve.

Following this weekend’s back-to-back matches, the Belles will return for their home opener at the Eck Tennis Pavilion March 7 against Saint Mary’s (Minn.).