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SMC Tennis: Belles blast Olivet

Lorenzo Reyes | Thursday, March 22, 2007

There was no doubt about this one.Saint Mary’s demolished conference opponent Olivet 8-1 Wednesday at Notre Dame’s Eck Tennis Pavillion in the opening serve of the team’s MIAA schedule.The Belles looked comfortable in every aspect of the match, most notably in singles play, where they won all six matches in straight sets. Saint Mary’s now boasts a 5-4 overall record, alongside its lone win in the MIAA in its first match. Olivet’s setback now leaves it at 1-2 in the MIAA with an overall record of 4-3 on the season.Prior to the match, senior Kelly McDavitt spoke about last week’s play and its effect on the season.”We all learned a lot from our match play experience,” she said. “I think our team is ready for the season. We all have the potential to perform well on the courts. We have the mindset of being focused and working hard. Every ball with a purpose.”Starting the match from the No. 1 spot, McDavitt defeated Olivet senior Rachel Vilums 6-1, 6-0. From the No. 2 spot, freshman Camille Gebert overcame Comets sophomore Jaclyn Mummaw 6-2, 6-3. In the third match of the day, Saint Mary’s sophomore Mary Campbell beat Olivet junior Abbie Utberg in the first set 6-3, but then finished off the match with an overpowering 6-0 set. Belles freshman Lisa Rubino faced freshman Celeste Gruber from the fourth spot and won 6-1, 6-2 in a consistent performance.Belles senior Tara O’Brien earned a victory for Saint Mary’s in the fifth spot with her steady showing over Olivet senior Jaime Morrison. O’Brien conceded two games in the first set, 6-2, but then blanked her opponent in the final set, putting the contest away.In the final match of singles play, Saint Mary’s junior Cassie Quaglia defeated Lindsey Struble, a fellow junior, 6-3, 6-3, finalizing the Belles’ sweep over Olivet in singles play.With the match already decided, Saint Mary’s didn’t let up. In the first match of doubles play, McDavitt and Gebert extended their doubles winning streak to six, defeating Olivet’s pairing of senior Mallory Bailey and Vilums 8-5. From the second spot in doubles play, the Belles continued winning, this time thanks to Campbell and Lisa Rubino, who earned an 8-5 victory over Olivet’s Utberg and Mummaw.In what was shaping out to be a clean sweep, the Belles slipped for the first and only time against the Comets doubles team of senior Corey Jager and Struble. O’Brien and Belles senior Grace Gordon weren’t able to overcome an 8-4 performance from the Olivet duo. Freshman standout Gebert spoke about the uneasiness prior to the match and team’s potential.”It was nice to get our first conference match out of the way. I think that everyone’s nerves were racing, but we pulled through as a team,” Gebert said. “There is something special about our team this year – I think that we have the potential to go very far. It will all depend on our heart.”