SMC Tennis: Saint Mary’s battles Aquinas
Jack Hefferon | Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Playing in warmer climates in the Sunshine State, the Belles enjoyed a successful stay in Orlando, Fla., by winning three of five matches over spring break.
However, the trip began with a rocky start when Saint Mary’s lost a difficult 7-2 decision to Dickinson.
Like much of the early season, the Belles’ strongest performances against the Red Devils came from the middle of their singles lineup. Senior Jessica Kosinski won 6-4, 6-1 in No. 2 Singles, and freshman Mary Catherine Faller came on strong late to win 3-6, 6-2 and 6-1 in the No. 3 spot.
Saint Mary’s rebounded against Carthage College the next day. The Belles won four of six singles matches en route to a 6-3 win over the Lady Reds. Senior Kate Grabarek dominated at No. 4 Singles, claiming a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Senior captain Franca Peluso also won convincingly, winning 6-1, 6-1 in her first win since returning from injury earlier this month.
Saint Mary’s faced a challenge the next day with a day-night doubleheader against Simpson and Principia after little rest. But The Belles dominated all day, rolling to an 8-1 victory over the Storm before sweeping the Panthers 9-0.
Highlighting the day were Faller, Grabarek and senior captain Jillian Hurley, who lost a combined 11 games in their six singles victories. The Belles’ teamwork and cohesiveness showed in doubles play, where they won all six of their matches.
After playing four matches in three days, the Belles faced one more matchup against the College of St. Scholastica before returning to campus. The Saints proved to be too much for Saint Mary’s to handle, as they downed the Belles 6-3. Despite the loss, Saint Mary’s received strong performances from freshman Kathleen Klauer, who won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 6 Singles, and Hurley, who gutted out a victory in the top singles spot 7-6, (8-6) and 6-4.
The Belles return to the Eck Tennis Center to take on Aquinas. The Saints are hot off a win over Trine College, and pose a formidable challenge to the Belles in their last match before entering conference play.
St. Mary’s and Aquinas will square off at 6 p.m. this evening.