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SMC Tennis: Belles look to start fast at home against Warriors

Aaron Sant-Miller | Monday, March 5, 2012

While getting the first win of the season is important, getting the first home win also creates a special momentum for a team’s season. Saint Mary’s will look to capture that momentum Tuesday at home against Indiana Tech.

The Belles (1-1) are coming off a dominant victory Sunday over Olivet College, in which they swept all three doubles matches and won five of the six singles matches for an 8-1 victory. Belles coach Dale Campbell said this win brought confidence back to the team after a rough season opener against regionally ranked Case Western.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “We’re positive, but we know we have to keep doing better.”

While the odds look good on paper for Saint Mary’s, as Indiana Tech (0-4) lost to that same Olivet team that Saint Mary’s defeated 8-1, Campbell said the Belles are not overconfident.

“We’re going to continue to work hard in practice,” Campbell said. “We’re going to continue to work on our fitness.”

Saint Mary’s is hoping this hard work, coupled with athletic ability, will pay off. But they want to maintain a certain level of mental toughness and intensity as well, Campbell said.

“Primarily, we want to continue to play more aggressive against our opponents,” Campbell said. “We’re going to need a more aggressive game to fare well against our conference opponents.”

Tuesday will give the Belles an opportunity to attack with this aggressive mentality, Campbell said, where a certain amount of focus will be paid to the No. 1 singles matchup.

“[Indiana Tech’s] number one player [freshman Stephanie Perez] is a pretty decent player, so it should be a good match up,” Campbell said.

Perez, despite her youth, is already putting on an impressive campaign. She will face off against the Belles’ own No. 1 singles player, sophomore Mary Catherine Faller. Faller performed well against Olivet and looks to bring that same dominance to the match Tuesday.

“[Faller] played a good match [on Sunday] against a veteran conference number one and got a win,” Campbell said. “I think that will help her bring a little confidence and it should be a fun one to watch.”

With the spotlight on Faller and the Belles, the team will look to shine at home against the Warriors at 6 p.m. tonight at Notre Dame’s Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Contact Aaron Sant-Miller at asantmil@nd.edu