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SMC Tennis: SMC hopes to continue success

Samantha Zuba | Friday, April 19, 2013

The Belles will take a three-match winning streak into Saturday’s contest at Hope College. 

Saint Mary’s (9-5, 4-1 MIAA) is coming off a 6-0 sweep of Adrian on Tuesday and will look to keep its momentum against yet another MIAA opponent.

The match against Hope (10-6, 5-0) will be the Belles’ third straight against an MIAA opponent. Saint Mary’s has been successful in conference play so far this season, posting a 4-1 mark. The Flying Dutch have also been successful in-conference, with a 5-0 record. Belles coach Dale Campbell said this makes the upcoming match important for both squads.

“Hope should be motivated against us because they want to be conference champs,” Campbell said. “They are probably the favorite in the conference tournament right now. We have to play aggressively.”

The Belles have four more matches before the MIAA Tournament begins May 2. To earn a spot in the tournament, Saint Mary’s has to finish in the top four of the conference. The Belles are currently tied for third with Kalamazoo and in line to make the tournament. Hope is the next step in the road to the tournament for Saint Mary’s. 

Campbell said making the tournament is a season goal for the Belles, but their immediate focus has to be on their next match.

“I would love to see us take care of business and then try to exceed our expectations,” she said. “Our goal will be to stay in the moment and do what we know how to do.”

Campbell outlined a doubles and singles strategy Saint Mary’s will try to implement against Hope.

“In doubles, we talk about the procedures of how to dictate play, and now we have to decide if we will do it,” Campbell said. “It’s that simple. In singles they are typically very athletic. We have to be very patient and take our time, point by point.”

As the season winds to a close, Campbell offered some perspective on what Saint Mary’s would like to accomplish in its last few matches. He reiterated the Belles’ mission from Day One of the season.

“Our goal was to make the conference tournament this year, to at least be in the top four as a minimum,” Campbell said.

The Belles travel to face conference rival Hope at 1 p.m. Saturday in Holland, Mich.

Contact Samantha Zuba at szuba@nd.edu