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SMC Tennis: Belles host Kalamazoo in key conference clash

Greg Arbogast | Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Saint Mary’s will attempt to return to its strong early spring form when it hosts Kalamazoo at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in a crucial Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association match – its first in over a week.

Saint Mary’s and Kalamazoo currently are tied for third place in the conference, entering the match with identical 4-1 conference records.

“It’s definitely a big match for us,” Belles co-captain Kristen Palombo said. “Getting a win over Kalamazoo would give our team so much confidence for the rest of our conference matches.”

Kalamazoo is coming off a loss in its last MIAA game. The Hornets fell victim to first place Albion 7-2 last Tuesday. The Britons are currently first in the conference with a 4-0 record.

Palumbo said the Belles (9-6 overall) expect a challenge from Kalamazoo.

“We’re definitely expecting Wednesday to be a tough match,” Palombo said. “They’re a very aggressive and intimidating team, but we can’t let that bother us if we hope to get a victory.”

Belles co-captain Kelly McDavitt compared Kalamazoo to Hope, the only team to beat Saint Mary’s so far in MIAA play

“Kalamazoo is as good if not better than Hope, but we didn’t play as well as we could have against Hope,” McDavitt said. “Tomorrow is going to be one of the biggest matches of the season.”

The Belles have rattled off two conference victories after a 6-3 loss to Hope. They beat both Alma and Tri-State 8-1.

Palombo said the Belles have used the week off to rest after their victory over Tri-State.

“We took the whole weekend off which was really nice,” Palombo said. “We really needed those couple of days off to let our bodies recover a little bit.”