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SMC Tennis

Saint Mary’s tops Cardinals after falling to Hornets

| Monday, April 28, 2014

After a weekend loss to No. 9 Kalamazoo, Saint Mary’s bounced back with a 7-2 victory over North Central on Monday.

Against the Cardinals (10-10, 2-4 CCIW), Saint Mary’s (11-7, 5-3 MIAA) swept all three doubles flights, adding four singles victories as well.

In doubles, Belles senior captain Mary Catherine Faller and sophomore Margaret Faller claimed a decisive 8-4 victory over North Central freshman Kelsey Forkin and junior Reynolds Cross. Additionally, Belles junior Shannon Elliott and junior captain Audrey Kiefer slipped past Cardinals freshman Katie Drone and freshman Miranda Grizaffi 9-8 (7-3), while Belles sophomore Andrea Fetters and freshman Sam Setterblad defeated North Central freshman Clare O’Connor and sophomore Kassandra Bernardo 8-4.

In singles, Drone and Grizaffi claimed North Central’s two victories, while Eliott, Fetters, Kiefer and Setterblad all claimed singles wins to go with their doubles victories.

As a whole, the Cardinals carry eight freshmen on their roster of 15 total players, as such youth accounts for over half of North Central’s roster. Conversely, only two of nine players on the Saint Marys roster are freshman, Setterblad and freshman Kaity Venters.

Monday’s victory was a nice change for the Belles after a 7-2 loss to Kalamazoo on Saturday. The loss was Saint Mary’s third MIAA loss in eight matches this season.

Kalamazoo (14-4, 8-0 MIAA) stole all three doubles matches from the Belles, as Hornets sophomore Sarah Woods and senior captain Jenna Riehl handled Belles Mary Catherine Faller and junior Kayle Sexton 8-5. Likewise, Kalamazoo senior captain Kelsey Moran and junior captain Olivia Bouchard defeated Saint Mary’s Kiefer and Elliott 8-3, and Kalamazoo freshman Sabrina Dass and sophomore Ania Latala topped Saint Mary’s Margaret Faller and Fetters.

The Belles’ two wins came in singles, where Fetters and Saint Mary’s junior Jackie Kjolhede claimed victories. For Kalamazoo, Woods, Riehl, Dass and Bouchard claimed singles victories to go with their wins in doubles.

Saint Mary’s will get a second crack at Kalamazoo on Thursday, when the Belles travel to Kalamazoo for the MIAA Tournament. After their victory over the Belles, the Hornets claimed the MIAA title outright, as Kalamazoo went undefeated in the conference this season.

In particular, Dass, Bouchard and Woods were not beaten in any MIAA matchup this season, winning eight, eight, and seven matches respectively. As a whole, Dass posted a 19-5 record, while Bouchard went 14-2 and Woods went 17-4.

Due to Kalamazoo’s resume, Thursday’s competition will be a matchup of the first and fourth seeds in the tournament.

Tournament play will begin at noon Thursday, when Saint Mary’s travels to Kalamazoo, Mich., for the MIAA tournament semifinals.

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