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SMC Tennis

Belles handle Pilots, look forward to Knights

| Friday, April 10, 2015

Saint Mary’s extended its winning streak to three matches against Bethel on Thursday afternoon, winning by a final score of 7-1 at South Bend Racquet Club.

In singles action, the Belles (9-7, 3-1 MIAA) took five of six matches, all of them in straight sets. Senior Kayle Sexton won at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-1;  senior Jackie Kjolhede was also victorious, 6-4, 6-2. Senior Shannon Elliot dropped only a single game her entire match, winning 6-0, 6-1, while junior Margaret Faller took her match at No. 5 singles by an identical score. Freshman Bailey Oppman was even more dominant in her match, completely shutting out her opponent, 6-0, 6-0. Junior Andrea Fetters’s match at the top of the singles lineup ended during the second set after she had captured the first by a score of 7-5.

In doubles action, the Belles’ top doubles team of sophomore Sam Setterblad and Sexton ended up on the wrong side of their match, dropping an 8-6 decision. The second doubles team of Fetters and Elliott were victorious, 8-1. In the third and final doubles match, the team of freshman Maddie Minuado and Faller blanked the their opponents, 8-0.

“They did a nice job of playing efficiently overall,” Belles head coach Dale Campbell said of his team. “They knew they were favored to win, but they did what they had to do. Shannon Elliott, Margaret Faller and Bailey Oppman all won their matches, losing only one or no games, so they were probably our best performers on the day. [Faller] only lost one game in both matches combined.

“No. 2 and 3 doubles teams won convincingly, and really everyone did pretty well in doubles. We are getting stronger, but still need to communicate a bit better in doubles.  We can’t get frustrated by hurdles. We just have to move on and think of the next shot or the next point.”

The Belles are back in action Saturday afternoon when they take on Calvin in a home conference game. The Knights (7-6, 2-1 MIAA) are coming off of a 5-4 win over Albion on Wednesday.

“We just have to get everyone ready for their best day,” Campbell said. “Calvin will be tough, and I believe one team will win 5-4 or 6-3.  It should be close in most every position.  It will be whichever team prepares itself the best and wants it more.  I hope that is us, and I will do what I can to help get the team ready.  They just need to get into a rhythm tomorrow and get their timing down, along with some rest for Saturday.  If we can win Saturday, we will most likely be guaranteed a spot in the conference tournament final four.”

Saint Mary’s and Calvin are scheduled to face off 1 p.m. Saturday at Saint Mary’s Tennis Courts.

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