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SMC Tennis: Belles continue winning streak

Jack Hefferon | Thursday, April 7, 2011

Winning big is becoming business as usual for the Belles. They’ve won eight of their last 11, and seven of those eight wins have been by five matches or more. Their matchup last night was no exception, as Saint Mary’s bested Olivet College, 7-2.

The Belles (8-5, 2-1 MIAA) got after the Comets (8-5, 1-3) right away, and did not let up until the final point was played. Singles play has been a strength for Saint Mary’s all season. The Belles won five of the six singles matches, including a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory by senior Mary Therese Lee at No. 6 singles.

Another highlight from the singles side was in the No. 4 spot, where senior captain Franca Peluso won the last nine games to win 6-2, 6-0. Peluso missed much of the early season due to injury, but returned in mid-March and has now won three singles matches in a row.

Freshmen have also played a large role in Saint Mary’s recent success. Four of the Belles’ 10 roster players are freshmen, and their growth has been very noticeable over the course of the season. A prime example of this growth is the recent play of freshman Mary Catherine Faller. Faller has been a regular in both singles and doubles at the No. 3 position, and has made an immediate impact in both. Last night, Faller teamed up with senior Jessica Kosinski to win 8-4 in doubles, and then turned around to win a 6-2, 6-2 straight set decision. The two wins marked her third straight singles victory and her fifth straight in doubles.

While the Belles have been firing on all cylinders lately, they won’t have much time to recuperate before they take to the courts again. The team will be on the road all of this weekend, as they first head to Bethel College for a non-conference showdown Friday. Saint Mary’s will then travel to Holland, Mich., to take on conference rival Hope College. The Flying Dutchmen are undefeated in MIAA play, and will be an important match moving forward for the Belles.