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Sports

Belles finish top five in pair of Jamboree tournaments

, , and | Monday, September 28, 2015

Golf

Saint Mary’s finished in a tie with Trine for third place overall in the team standings at the second MIAA Conference Jamboree of the year Saturday in Kalamazoo, Michigan, after finishing fourth in the first Jamboree on Wednesday.

“I wasn’t too surprised with this weekend’s results,” Belles head coach Kim Moore said. “I figured the top four from the previous Jamboree would be the top four in this Jamboree.  However, I am a bit surprised with Trine’s performance this weekend.  The do have talented players but I was surprised with their team score of 329, which was the same as ours.  Having said that, it is fun to have the top 4 as close as we are after two events.”

Junior Ali Mahoney and senior Sammie Averill had the best scores for the Belles on the day, both finishing with a 79 to finish in a tie for fifth place in the individual standings. Junior Courtney Carlson shot an 85 on the day to finish in a tie for 18th place in the individual standings, while freshman Taylor Kehoe shot an 86 and junior Rachel Kim finished with an 88.

“I was excited to see Ali Mahoney bounce back from a higher score during the first Jamboree,” Moore said.  “I was also really happy for Sammie Averil, who shot a personal and collegiate best score of 79, which tied her 5th overall this past weekend.

“I was happy that my team bounced back from a poor performance in the first Jamboree. We were able to stay close to the second-place team, Olivet College.”

Although Moore is pleased with her team’s improvement, she said the team still needs to make some improvements.

“We need to work on putting and chipping,” Moore said. “We are always going to have bad hits, but if we can make it up with a good short game, then we will have a chance to still play well. I also want to work on some situational things, putting players in areas where they aren’t normally or are not too familiar.”

The Belles’ next event will be the third MIAA Jamboree on Thursday at the Thornapple Pointe Golf Course in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Cross Country

Saint Mary’s picked up a top-five finish at the MIAA Jamboree on Saturday at the West Ottawa Golf Club and finished just four points behind fourth-place Albion.

“Saturday was a pretty good day overall. We stayed in the top five which was the hope, although we were really looking to be at least fifth,” Belles head coach Jackie Bauters said. “Being only four points out of fourth wasn’t very fun, but [it] definitely gives us motivation and drive to make the improvements at our championship meet. We were not at full steam, with [freshman] Aubrey Penn battling through an injury to compete on Saturday. She showed a lot of poise and courage putting the race together that she did and I believe her being healthy will yield much different results.”

Junior Brittany Beeler had the best finish for Saint Mary’s, taking 13th overall. Aside from Beeler, Bauters said she was particularly impressed with senior Allie Danhof and junior Colleen Ogren, who finished 35th and 26th, respectively.

“Colleen Ogren stepped up and had a great race on Saturday,” Bauters said. “She definitely has even more potential in her, and I was excited to see her score for the team.

“Allie Danhof did a great job of leading her pack into the finish for the last kilometer of the race, and was a great overall leader on the course. Finally, Brittany ran the race plan set before her almost to a ‘t,’ which I was very impressed by. We will be working on having her close in on the pack of runners ahead of her, as we both know she can compete with them.”

After having races every weekend in September, the Belles will have next weekend off before they head to the Benedictine Invitational the following weekend.

“Overall, I was pleased with the team’s performance, especially for our youth in September,” Bauters said. “I hope this weekend off will be very beneficial to the team in regards to rest, regrouping, focusing on the second half of the season goals, and preparing for more hard work.”

The Benedictine Invitational will begin Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.

Soccer

Saint Mary’s fell to No. 20 Hope on Saturday by a score of 3-0, dropping its MIAA record to 1-5.

The Belles (1-7-0, 1-5-0 MIAA) held firm against the undefeated Flying Dutch (10-0, 7-0 MIAA) for the first 20 minutes of the game. But in the 21st minute, Flying Dutch junior forward Elizabeth Perkins scored her third goal of the year on an assist from sophomore midfielder Erin Brophy to put their team up 1-0. Both defenses held firm for the remainder of the half, however, as the score stood at 1-0 going into halftime.

In the second half, though, the Belles’ offense managed just one shot, while the Flying Dutch totaled 17. In the 51st minute, Brophy connected with Perkins a second time to put the Flying Dutch up 2-0. Junior midfielder Sarah Fazio scored her second goal of the season with just two seconds remaining in the game to give the Flying Dutch a commanding 3-0 victory.

Despite seeing his team outshot 28-2 in the game, Belles head coach Ken Nuber said he was satisfied with his team’s performance.

“Hope is a classy program, and they deserved the win,” Nuber said. “We battled very well and made things hard on them. The shots are misleading considering most of them were not dangerous. I felt we gave up probably seven quality chances, and they converted three [of them].”

Next on the docket for the Belles is a road matchup with Adrian on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs (3-3-4, 1-3-2 MIAA) have struggled this year offensively, only scoring three goals through 10 games. Alternatively, they have proven to be difficult to score on, and have only conceded five goals this season.

Nuber said taking advantage of opportunities will be key for his team to come away with a victory, which would keep his team in the thick of the race for the fourth spot in the conference postseason tournament.

“Adrian lives by their keeper and their defensive posturing,” Nuber said. “They have shutout some good teams. We have to finish out opportunities [against them].

“Adrian is a huge game for us if we want to move up the standings. The MIAA is top-heavy right now and we are in a battle in the middle. If we could finish this week with two wins and get to 3-5, then we are in position to fight for the fourth tournament spot.”

The Belles are set to kick off against the Bulldogs on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Docking Stadium in Adrian, Michigan.

Volleyball

Saint Mary’s picked up a win and a loss as it continued its run of conference play this past weekend, hosting Hope and visiting Olivet.

In the Belles’ first game on Friday, they hosted 14th-ranked Hope. After four hard-fought sets, the Belles (9-4, 3-3 MIAA) saw themselves on the wrong side of a 3-1 outcome.

After losing the first set, Saint Mary’s took the second one to draw even. In the second set, the score was tied five times, and the lead changed hands three times. The Belles went down 13-8 and 21-18, but pulled back to win 25-22. Junior setter Alexis Grady chipped in with two assists and two kills on the last four points of the set. Her strong play throughout the game earned her a triple double with 10 kills, 10 digs and 24 assists.

After the hard-fought second set, the Belles couldn’t stop Hope, and fell in four sets. Belles junior setter Clare McMillan recorded her 2,000th career assist during the match, as well as a career-high 19 digs. 

On Saturday, the Belles swept Olivet 3-0 (25-23, 25-10, 25-16). In the first set, the team trailed 22-20 before they smashed three straight kills to flip the score to 23-22. In the other two sets, the Belles went on early runs to separate themselves from Olivet, and didn’t break a sweat the rest of the match.

The Belles will host Albion Wednesday and look to pull above .500 in conference play against the Britons.

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About Benjamin Padanilam

As The Observer's Editor-in-Chief, Ben is a senior in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) who is pursuing minors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Business Economics as well. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, and has enjoyed the few highs and many lows of being a Cleveland sports fan.

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