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SMC Tennis: Belles fall to Hornets

Isaac Lorton | Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Saint Mary’s started strong in its home match against Kalamazoo, winning all three doubles matches. The Belles’ (10-8, 3-4 MIAA) lead, though, was not enough to hold off the Hornets (6-14, 6-2), who took all of the singles matches.

“We played some really inspired doubles,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “It is the best doubles we have played this year. We were just outdone in singles.”

Freshmen Shannon Elliot and Jackie Kjolhede took their matches to three sets at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively.

Elliot won the first set 6-2, before losing the next two sets 6-2, 6-1. Kjolhede lost the first set 6-1, but rallied and took the second set 6-4, before losing a close third set, 6-4.

“We almost had a few of those single matches,” Campbell said. “They just had more firepower in singles than we did.”

The story of the young Saint Mary’s team this year has been solid doubles play, with a struggling singles play.

“I think our play in doubles is a good sign for the future,” Campbell said. “It is harder to learn the principles and tactics of doubles and I think we have them down pretty well. In singles, we need to keep working and work on all of our shots. With doubles you can hide some mistakes, but once you get one-on-one, you can’t hide weaknesses in singles. However, this is a young team, with a lot of freshman who are playing and they will get better with time and come along in singles.”

With this loss, it is impossible for the Belles, sitting in sixth pla

ce, to make the MIAA playoffs.

“It was a tough loss and definitely disappointing,” Campbell s

aid. “This does not mean the season is over, though, for us.”

The Belles have two remaining matches and Campbell said this is the time to keep learning and training for next year, and to possibly give non-starters some playing time.

“I think we will finish off the season strong and continue to grow as a team,” Campbell said. “We might get some players in there who haven’t got much time this year and rotate things around. We will continue to play hard and who knows, we could upset Hope in our next match.”

The Belles look to take down Hope, who is undefeated in the MIAA with a record of 7-0, at home Saturday at 1 p.m.

Contact Isaac Lorton at