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Belles look to use momentum at this weekend’s tournament

Steve Coyer | Friday, December 5, 2003

The Belles enter this weekend’s Roundball Tournament with confidence running high and more importantly a chance to prove themselves against some fierce opponents.After an overpowering 77-26 victory against Andrews University this week, the Belles (2-3) are ready to continue their dominance at home as they welcome Washington University (4-1), Calvin College (2-2) and Illinois College (0-4) for the tournament.The competition looks to be strong most notably from national powerhouse Washington University. Washington won four consecutive Division III titles from 1998-2001 and hasn’t shown any signs of letting up.”We had a big win against Andrews but we need to make some improvements for this weekend,” Saint Mary’s coach Suzanne Bellina said. “We’re going to face some difficult teams and we have to be ready to play our best.”The Belles have looked ready to make a statement ever since their disappointing 0-2 start of the season. Wins against Manchester and Andrews have been encouraging for the team but they’re still searching for a victory against a powerful opponent. Against Andrews, the Belles rested their starters for most of the game in anticipation of this weekend’s tournament. Positive contributions from the bench allowed the Belles to dominate the game even with star players Emily Creachbaum and Katie Boyce only playing five minutes each.”We’re going to be relying on our starters to play their hearts out,” Bellina said. “We need everybody on the team to contribute if we want to win this tournament.”The first game of the tournament is today at 6 p.m. when the Belles face Illinois College. Washington University and Calvin College play next at 8 p.m. The championship game will be played on Saturday at 3 p.m.”This will be a turning point in our season,” Bellina said. “We want to make a statement and this tournament is the place to do it.”