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SMC Tennis: Belles seek final win despite lost MIAA hopes

Isaac Lorton | Friday, April 27, 2012

Now mathematically eliminated from qualifying for the MIAA conference tournament, Saint Mary’s will not be backing down in its final conference match against conference-leading Hope on Saturday. The Belles (10-8, 3-4 MIAA) are playing for the win against the Flying Dutch (15-7, 7-0 MIAA) as they always do, Belles coach Dale Campbell said.

“You never know,” Campbell said. “We know it’s an uphill battle and that we can’t make the tournament but we will always play for the win.”

Campbell said that in order to beat the Flying Dutch, the Belles will need to continue their strong play in doubles and get some key wins in singles, as well.

“[The Flying Dutch] are pretty equal across the board in singles from what I’ve seen,” Campbell said. “I think our best chances are at the top and [we’ll] try to exploit any advantage we can get.”

As his team heads into the last conference game of the season, Campbell believes the Belles have reached certain goals set for the season, but failed to accomplish their main goal.

“We did fall short of our goals, yes,” Campbell said. “The five-four loss to Alma was tough and we want that one back. The six-three loss to Kalamazoo was tough too. We were up by three and they just outplayed us in singles.”

There is a silver lining to the Belles’ season, Campbell said.

“We have never folded under pressure and for this freshman-dominated team, that’s an accomplishment,” Campbell said. “Also, we aimed for a winning season and so far we have accomplished that.”

Campbell is pleased with how his three sophomore captains – Margaret Boden, Mary Catherine Faller and Sarah Monte – have become better leaders as the season has developed.

“Our leaders have learned, and still are learning how to lead,” Campbell said. “They are only sophomores.”

Campbell said the team has grown a great deal, and the entire lineup will be returning next year.

“We have two and three years left out of our players,” Campbell said. “With the way they played this year, it is a great sign for next year.”

The Belles will host the Flying Dutch, as they look to sink the undefeated conference leaders Saturday at 4 p.m.

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu