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SMC Tennis: Belles drop regular season finale

Matthew DeFranks | Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saint Mary’s hoped to end the season on fire, but Kalamazoo extinguished the Belles’ flames, tripping up Saint Mary’s 8-1 yesterday in both teams’ final regular season match.

The loss ended Saint Mary’s three-game win streak.

Belles coach Dale Campbell knew this would be a tough match for his squad.

“We’ve made some adjustments to our play, but we still have a big conference match against Kalamazoo,” Campbell said after a win against Calvin April 18.

The Belles (12-7, 5-3 MIAA) struggled mightily against the Hornets (8-11, 5-3), winning just two of the possible 15 sets overall. Senior Franca Peluso won both of those sets during her 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Kalamazoo senior Kate Farwell.

Saint Mary’s dropped all three doubles matches despite hanging tough in each one. Peluso and senior Mary Therese Lee narrowly lost their No. 3 double match-up 8-6. Senior Jillian Hurley and freshman Margaret Boden lost their No. 1 doubles match 8-3 while the team of freshman Mary Catherine Faller and senior Jessica Kosinski dropped an 8-4 decision. This marks the first time since an April 9 7-2 loss against Hope that the Belles have not won a doubles match.

The Belles did not fare much better in their singles games, winning just one of the six match-ups. Lee lost just her fourth match of the year 6-3, 6-4 to Kalamazoo junior Paula Silverman. The loss dropped Lee’s overall record to 14-4 on the year. Meanwhile, senior Kate Grabarek lost at No. 5 singles for only the fourth time this year. The Hornets, ranked No. 19 in the Central region, dominated the singles category, clinching the victory with freshman Jenna Riehl’s win over Grabarek.

“We still have things we’re trying to do in doubles games,” Campbell said after defeating Alma April 12.

The loss puts the Belles in fourth place in the MIAA standings heading into the conference tournament this weekend in Kalamazoo.

Saint Mary’s will begin its quest for a conference championship Friday.