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SMC Tennis: Belles dominate on the road

Aaron Sant-Miller | Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Belles topped Olivet College 8-1 on Sunday to record their first win of the season.

The Belles (1-1) defeated Olivet (1-1) handedly behind a sweep of all three of their doubles matchups. Sophomore Margaret Boden and freshman Jackie Kjolhede swept their doubles match, while the doubles teams of sophomore Mary Catherine Faller and freshman Audrey Kiefer and freshmen Shannon Elliot and Kayle Sexton also brought home wins.

The Belles’ dominance continued to the singles matches, as they won all but the No. 4 singles match. Boden and Kjolhede led the singles victories as well, as they both managed to sweep their individual matches. Faller, the Belles top singles player, won in a straight set, while Sexton and Elliot managed to pull out wins in super tiebreakers.

“Overall, it was a good performance in our first conference match,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “It was a match we were really hoping to win. It’s nice to have that first conference match in the win column.”

Two weeks ago, the Belles suffered a tough loss in their season opener to Case Western, 9-0, yet, the Belles bounced back Sunday, showing their mental toughness. This toughness was also visible on a smaller scale throughout the day. According to Campbell, the wins by Sexton and Elliot impressed him.

“[Sunday] there were some tight matches, and those tight matches came through,” Campbell said. “It showed me that we have a team that will fight in a close situation and hang tough.”

Despite its youth, Saint Mary’s showed a competitive drive and toughness representative of athletes mature beyond their years, Campbell said.

“It was good to see that toughness and how well we fared,” he said.

The confidence from getting their first win goes beyond the coaching staff, Campbell said.

“They are excited after starting off with such a tough opening match,” Campbell said. “They’re excited just to play a reasonable game in a conference match and to get that first conference win.”

The Belles don’t have much time to soak in this dominant victory as they host Indiana Tech at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Notre Dame’s Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Contact Aaron Sant-Miller at asantmil@nd.edu