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Belles look to break early season slump

Justin Stetz | Friday, January 14, 2005

After a long break, the Saint Mary’s swimming team is looking to bounce back as it travels to Hillsdale College this weekend. The Belles currently stand in last place in the MIAA with a record of 0-2 after losses against conference opponents Hope and Olivet.

Saturday, the team will take on Alma College beginning at 1:00 p.m.

However, the Scots have suffered their own set of problems this year as they remain locked with the Belles at the bottom of the league, still searching for their first victory this season. All three of Alma’s losses have been against conference rivals, by an average of 60 points in each meet.

Last year in their only head-to-head competition, the Scots were victorious over the Belles with an impressive 134-97 performance. A few bright spots for Saint Mary’s during the meet came from Kelly Nelis, Katy Lebiedz and Sarah Nowak in the women’s 400-yard medley relay as the group posted an impressive first-place score of 4 minutes, 29.11 seconds.

In the other events, Lebiedz concluded the 50-yard freestyle finishing in third place with a time of 27.62. Then a sophomore, Nowak ended with a second-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley.

Following the Belles trip to Islamorada located in the Florida Keys, coach Gregg Petcoff remarked this was one of the best winter trips he had ever experienced with the team. So now for Saint Mary’s, they must build upon what the have learned and come out ready against the Scots.

The team will look to captain Ashley Dyer along with Lebiedz and Nowak to carry the load for the Belles. Meanwhile, other swimmers such as Nelis, Rachel Boury and Katie Dingeman should help the team improve in the 400-yard medley, while freshman Noreen Sherred will look for her continued success in the 100-yard freestyle.

After Saturday’s match, Saint Mary’s will await Kalamazoo College who comes to town Jan. 21 to face the Belles.

The Hornets stand in third place in the MIAA standings, posting a mark of 2-1. After beating the Belles handily during last year’s competition, Saturday’s meet should be a good test for the Belles who look to closeout their season on a strong note