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SMC SWIMMING: Belles fall to Hillsdale, defeat Alma at meet

Justin Stetz | Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Saint Mary’s swimming team was able to walk away with a win against conference rival Alma College this weekend after falling to Hillsdale. The Charges of Hillsdale controlled the meet as they defeated both Alma and the Belles by scores of 64-39 and 70-30, respectively.Hillsdale dominated by winning eight of the scheduled thirteen events and streaking to five straight wins to open the meet. Neither Saint Mary’s nor Alma could overcome the early deficits, and the Charges improved to 5-2 on the season.In the 1000-yard freestyle, Lisa Balog captured fourth place, while Kelly Nelis was able to do the same in the 200-yard freestyle event. The Belles made up valuable ground in the 50-yard freestyle as Nicole Korte finished in second with a time of 26.65, while teammate Kelly Tighe wasn’t far behind, recording a third place finish with a score of 27.14.Sarah Nowak continued to swim well by winning the 100-yard backstroke for the Belles, and Bridget Green finished in fourth as both swimmers helped Saint Mary’s secure much needed points. The only other first-place victory for Saint Mary’s came in the meet’s final event, the 200-yard freestyle relay.In the meet’s finale, Saint Mary’s swimmers Korte, Tighe, Nowak and Nelis combined for an outstanding score of 1:46.72. Last year, the Scots defeated the Belles with a score of 134-97 as they posted two last-second victories to clinch the win. But this time around, the Belles were the ones with the late heroics, winning the last two events of the meet.The Belles’ strong finish on Saturday allowed them to squeak by Alma by a score of 51-49 for their first conference win of the year and helped them avenge last year’s disappointing loss.This weekend’s results improved Saint Mary’s to 2-3 on the season, while lifting them out of last place in MIAA. The Belles now stand in a fifth-place tie with Albion, who they have yet to meet.Lisa Balog was recognized as the performer of the meet at Hillsdale after finishing with two fourth-place finishes in both the 1000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.The Belles will not swim again until Jan. 28 as they prepare to take on third place Kalamazoo College for their second of three consecutive away meets. The Hornets are 2-1 this year.