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SMC Basketball: Belles look to move up in the conference

Stetz, Justin | Friday, January 28, 2005

The Saint Mary’s swimming team will be traveling to Albion College Saturday to face the Britons and the Knights of Calvin. The Belles currently reside in sixth place in the MIAA with a record of 1-3, but can overtake Albion for the fifth spot with a victory. Calvin College sits on top of the conference with a record of 3-0 as it has dominated most of its competition to this point.

Last year, Saint Mary’s suffered losses to both teams during conference action. Albion defeated the Belles by a score of 128-106, while the Knights breezed by the Belles with a relatively easy 119-84 win. In the meet against Albion, Bridget Lebiedz finished second in the 200-yard freestyle and teammate Kelly Nelis placed second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.56 seconds Nelis also won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:30.

Against conference rival Calvin, Nelis finished second in the 200-yard freestyle event, while Sarah Nowak had a strong performance in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:27. The team also captured first in the 200-yard freestyle relay finishing with a time of 1:46.

Heading into this weekends meet, Saint Mary’s is coming off a devastating loss to Kalamazoo, a team that beat the Belles 144-71 last weekend. Because of the defeat, it is crucial Saint Mary’s have a strong performance to gain ground in league play. However, coach Gregg Petcoff believes the team has an excellent chance of moving up in the conference standings. Two wins this weekend could move the Belles to as high as fourth in the MIAA.

So far this season, Nelis has the top finishes in both the 50-yard and 500-yard freestyles with respective times of 26.43 and 5:30.

Nowak leads the team in the 100-freestyle with a time of 57.34 and has recorded a time of 2:04 in the 200-yard freestyle. She has also posted finishes of 1:11 and 2:32 in the 100 and 200-yard breaststrokes.

Lisa Balog has had an impressive freshman campaign by swimming a team-best 11:43 in the 1,000-yard freestyle as well as recording a time of 20:05 in the 1,650-yard freestyle.

This weekend, the Belles will need all of their swimmers to be in top form if they wish to have a chance at beating both competitors.

The first event commences at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Following the events, Saint Mary’s will prepare for the MIAA Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb 10.