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SMC Tennis: Belles rebound from loss to defeat Alma

Matthew DeFranks | Wednesday, April 13, 2011

With a loss against Hope Saturday, the Belles’ four-match win streak came to an abrupt end. With a 7-2 win Tuesday against Alma, they started another win streak.

Saint Mary’s (10-6, 3-2 MIAA) turned in strong singles play, winning all six of its matches including a 6-4, 6-0 win by senior captain Jillian Hurley over Alma’s Jen Meloche in the top singles match-up. Hurley improved to 10-5 in singles play on the year and is now 9-1 in her last 10 matches.

“We’ve always been good in singles and this brings us a lot of confidence,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “We said to the team before that it was important to be prepared and to take care of business.”

For the first time since a 9-0 win over Trine April 2, the Belles won all six matches in the singles category. Freshman Mary Catherine Faller bounced back from a defeat Saturday against Hope by winning in straight sets 7-5, 6-0.

Saint Mary’s lone doubles victory came when senior Jessica Kosinski and Faller dominated the Scots’ Lauren Moreau and Katie Meloche en route to an 8-0 win. Kosinski also won her No. 2 singles match easily, 6-1, 6-1.

With the victory over the Scots (6-8, 2-2), the Belles notched their third conference win and are once again over .500 in MIAA play.

“We’re in a decent position, but we still have to face a couple strong conference foes in Kalamazoo and Calvin,” Campbell said. “We hope that we have built some confidence going into those games but we still have work to do.”

Saint Mary’s has now won five of its last six matches, as the player have won 38 out of 51 possible individual match-ups over the span.

“We feel like we’re playing good tennis,” Campbell said. “We still have things we’re trying to do in doubles games. We don’t view this as a stretch of wins and losses, but we’re trying to get better.”

Alma salvaged two wins in doubles play, as each match went the full three sets. The loss snaps the Scots’ brief two-match conference winning streak and drops them to .500 in the MIAA.

The Belles return to action Saturday when they host MIAA rival Adrian (5-8, 2-3) in their second-to-last home match of the season.