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SMC Tennis: Belles rebound with win over North Central

By D.H. Kim | Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Coming off a loss against Hope in Michigan on Saturday, the Belles hosted North Central on Monday, winning 6-3.

The Belles (10-6, 4-2 MIAA) won two of three doubles matches, losing only the No. 2 doubles of freshman Margaret Faller and sophomore Shannon Elliott. However, Elliott and Faller won No. 3 singles (6-2, 6-0) and No. 6 singles (6-1, 6-1), respectively. According to Saint Mary’s coach Dale Campbell, the Belles’ doubles play facilitated their strong singles play.

“We got an early lead with doubles but those same players in doubles gained confidence and more practice to perform well in singles,” Campbell said.

Junior captain Mary Catherine Faller and sophomore Jackie Kjolhede also recorded victories in their singles matches. Kjolhede won the No. 6 singles slot 6-3, 6-0 and Faller recorded a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 5 singles.

Campbell said the Belles’ doubles and singles competition impressed but their consistency did not. He pointed to sophomore Kayle Sexton’s 6-0, 1-6, 2-6 loss. Sexton led the match after winning the first set but lost her next two sets. Freshman Audrey Kiefer’s No. 4 singles match followed a similar trajectory as she lost a tiebreaker after having won the second set 6-0.

“We should have been more consistent and played aggressively from the start to the end of the match,” Campbell said.
Campbell also said the Belles will continue to focus on their conference with two regular season games remaining against Calvin and Kalamazoo.

“Our focus is in our conference and to make the playoffs,” he said. “We have to be in the top four to qualify in the championships so we have to make a strong finish.”

The Belles will now prepare to host conference opponent Calvin (5-10, 3-4) on Wednesday.

Contact D.H. Kim at dkim16@nd.edu