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SMC Tennis: Belles end fall season

Samantha Zuba | Thursday, September 26, 2013

 

The Belles play their final matches of the fall Friday and Saturday at the MIAA Flighted Tournament hosted by Hope College in Holland, Mich.

The tournament gives Saint Mary’s (1-0, 0-0 MIAA) the opportunity to scout conference opponents it will play against in the spring season, Belles coach Dale Campbell said.

“I think it will give all of the teams a chance to see where the other teams are,” Campbell said. “It’s not perfect, but you do get to see some of the new players.”

The Belles played Sept. 14 against non-conference opponent St. Francis and won 6-3 in their only other action this fall. The MIAA tournament is an even better opportunity for players to get court time, Campbell said.

“The tournament is excellent because each player is guaranteed two matches, so we can gain a lot of experience, especially for our new players,” Campbell said. “We get to have everyone play on our team, where in a team match, typically only six players get to play.”

Freshmen Hannah Nichols, Sam Setterblad and Kaity Venters debuted for Saint Mary’s against St. Francis and will gain more experience at the MIAA tournament. Nichols earned her first collegiate victory at No. 2 singles.

Campbell said he expects every player, not just the freshmen, to take advantage of their playing time this weekend.

“My expectations are that they fight for every match and every point,” Campbell said. “This is an opportunity to get as much experience as possible, so we want to play our best. I hope we have a few doubles teams and singles players that advance far in the tournament as well.”

After the tournament, the Belles will work out individually throughout the offseason, but the team will organize group service projects.

“We are continuing to practice one more week after this tournament, then the team primarily conditions on their own or with our strength and conditioning coaches,” Campbell said. “We also have individual meetings to discuss their games and what they need to work on in the offseason. We do have multiple service projects together and fundraisers, which give us an opportunity to be together.”

The MIAA tournament serves as a test to show players what they need to work on in the offseason before spring competition begins, Campbell said.

“Really it is a finale to the fall season, just to see where we are at this time,” Campbell said. “It will help to get the feel of playing the opponents that we will see in the spring, however.”

The Belles head to Hope College to play in the MIAA Flighted Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Contact Samantha Zuba at szuba@nd.edu