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SMC Tennis: Coming off split, Belles travel to take on Albion

Isaac Lorton | Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Coming off a split-decision in its doubleheader against No. 9 regionally-ranked Wheaton and Judson in Hanover Park, Ill., Saint Mary’s looks to beat Albion tonight in an MIAA match.

The Belles (7-4, 1-0 MIAA) lost their first match 8-1 to undefeated Wheaton (7-0), with sophomore Margaret Boden gaining the sole victory at the No. 6 spot. They bounced back and were victorious in their second match against Judson (0-7) by a score of 7-2.

“I thought overall we did okay,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “Wheaton was a strong team and we recognize that but they were a non-conference team which makes it less painful. We played well against Judson but [Judson] was not at the same level as Wheaton. I’m glad we did not play down to Judson’s level and got work done when we needed to.” 

The Belles mixed up their lineup Sunday, making a small change in the doubles teams. Freshman Audrey Kiefer swapped with freshman Kayle Sexton, moving from the No. 1 to No. 2 doubles team. Kiefer joined freshman Shannon Elliott, while Sexton was paired with sophomore Mary Catherine Faller.

“We tried something different in doubles this weekend before conference games got underway,” Campbell said. “We felt that this change will take advantage of the different styles and the players will complement each other better at these spots. It was tough to judge how well this move worked since we faced such different calibers of competition this weekend, but we will be keeping the switch for the match against Albion.”

In the conference matchup against the 2011 MIAA champion Britons (5-2, 1-0), there will be no switch in the Belles’ singles lineup or in the No. 3 doubles team, consisting of Boden and freshman Jackie Kjolhede.       

“We are going to leave alone the third team of doubles,” Campbell said. “They have good chemistry and have done well so far this year. We have a better record in doubles than singles this year so hopefully the changes in doubles do not affect our play. Even though we have a worse singles record, everyone will stay in their spots.”

According to Campbell, Saint Mary’s is ready to play against the defending MIAA champions.

“Being a conference match, there is definitely an importance placed on this match,” Campbell said. “They have more experience in their lineup, but we are excited to match up against them and I believe we will match up well.”

The Belles look to defeat the reigning MIAA champion Albion today at 4 p.m. in Albion, Mich.

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu