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Sports

Belles begin season with Calvin Invite

| Friday, September 2, 2016

Cross Country

Saint Mary’s opens its season this weekend at the Calvin Invite.

“This is really early racing,” Belles head coach Jackie Bauters said. “It should be a great opportunity for our first years to get in uniform and returners to shake some nerves out and check their current fitness as we head into the season. My goals are really to put forth our best efforts, try to run with teammates and have a great time.”

Last year’s All-MIAA first team member and senior Brittany Beeler returns with four other seniors to anchor a team that finished 15th at last year’s NCAA regional.

“I am really excited to see what this season has in store,” Bauters said. “We have two really strong contributors back from injuries: [junior] Reilly Pieri, who was out last season, and [sophomore] Aubrey Penn, who missed the second half of last season. They came back really solid and will definitely play a vital role in our scoring this year. [Senior] Kaitlyn Alessi is poised to have a phenomenal senior season, and the sophomores and juniors are already looking fitter now than they were at this time last year.

“I think it’s going to be a great season. I’m really hoping our team stays healthy first and foremost, and in doing so, we can re-claim third place in the MIAA. There should be some nice [personal records] along the way this year.”

The Calvin Invite will take place Saturday and is set to begin at 10 a.m.

Golf

Saint Mary’s returns to action this weekend at the Olivet Labor Day Invite.

Last weekend, the Belles finished in second place behind Bethel at the Cross Town Rivalry while their second event, a match play event against Bethel, was cancelled.

“Golf can be a very tricky game,” Belles head coach Kim Moore said. “One day, you could be playing lights out and everything is going right, and then the next day, you can’t get anything to go your way. However, I am always looking for improvement week to week. I feel the more time we have to practice, the better our consistency should be. I am really looking for better short game this week. We have had some great practice sessions this week, so I’m really expecting some good things.”

The Olivet Labor Day Invite will be a two-day event that will take place over the course of Saturday and Sunday.

“The Olivet Labor Day [Invite] is always a great test for us,” Moore said. “First off, the course we play is one that we play a lot during our season and can be extremely difficult, especially for our freshmen who have not played it before. Secondly, the competition is usually very good. Olivet — the host school — is a rival conference opponent and is always competitive. We will also be seeing two nationally-ranked teams in Washington University of St. Louis and Illinois Wesleyan. I’m really expecting those teams to be just as competitive as they were last season.

“However, I feel we have a strong team this year that can play with a lot of nationally-ranked teams. I am expecting some good scores out of our upperclassmen, who have played this course a number of times. I feel that our team can really set a good tone for the rest of this season with a good showing this weekend.”

The Olivet Labor Day Invite is set to begin at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at The Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, Michigan.

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