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SMC Tennis: Belles win on strength of singles

D.H. Kim | Monday, April 15, 2013


Saint Mary’s edged conference rival Alma 5-4 in a closely-contested match Saturday afternoon in East Lansing, Mich.

The Belles (8-5, 3-1 MIAA) struggled in doubles play Saturday, losing two of the three doubles matches. The team rebounded, however, to win four of six singles matches and take the overall victory. 

“We realized we needed to focus on each match equally and win our singles matches,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said.

Junior Mary Catherine Faller and sophomore Kayle Sexton defeated the Scots (7-9, 3-4) 8-6 at No. 1 doubles. Faller and Sexton then delivered with key wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Faller won her match 7-5, 6-4, while Sexton defeated her opponent by a score of 6-1, 6-1. 

“The Alma match was a reminder that every singles match counts no matter what position,” Faller said. “Everyone fought through their matches until the very end, and it felt great to have those big wins under our belts.”

Sophomores Audrey Kiefer and Jackie Kjolhede could not hold at tiebreak at No. 2 doubles and lost 9-8, 8-6 in a nail-biting match. Kjolhede rebounded to win her singles match in straight sets.  Belles sophomore Shannon Elliott fell 8-2 at No. 3 doubles, but had a comeback win at No. 3 singles in a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 decision.

The Belles currently sit in fourth place in the MIAA, a half game behind Kalamazoo. The top four teams in the conference make the conference tournament, which begins May 2 .

The Belles will host Adrian on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Contact D.H. Kim at dkim16@nd.edu