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SMC Tennis: Belles finish fifth in MIAA

Isaac Lorton | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

With the mixture of youth and doubles-play cohesiveness, Saint Mary’s grew and developed as the team finished fifth in the MIAA. Of the top six players for the Belles (11-9, 3-5 MIAA), four were freshman and two were sophomores.

“Overall, I think we had a good year,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “For a young team, it was a decent year and we improved and learned a lot. For most of the girls, it was their first time playing at the collegiate level and going through a conference schedule.”

Although the squad was young, the Belles accomplished one of their goals of obtaining an overall winning record, but fell short of their goal of earning a winning conference record.

“It was good to have a winning record, but conference is what really matters,” Campbell said.

The Belles did not make the MIAA tournament, as only the top four conference finishers face-off for the chance to go on to the NCAA Division III tournament. Campbell said there were positive aspects that came from this season despite the finish.

“We played great in doubles,” Campbell said. “It is harder to accomplish consistent, solid doubles play, but we did just that this season.”

Saint Mary’s went 36-24 overall in doubles and in conference had a record of 16-8.

The Belles were not as successful in singles though, going 56-64 overall and 17-31 in conference play.

Campbell said he is not worried about singles for next year.

“We did not do as well in singles, but we will continue to improve,” Campbell said. “We have a young team who will become better at individual match ups.”

Sophomore co-captain and No.1 singles and doubles player Mary Catherine Faller was a key contributor to the success of the young Belles team.

Overall in singles, Faller went 10-9 and went 4-4 in conference.

With Faller and several other young players returning, the Belles hope the foundation has been laid for a successful 2013 spring season.

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu