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SMC Tennis: Belles head to Madison

Ellyn Michalak | Thursday, April 5, 2007

Saint Mary’s will travel to Madison, Wis., this weekend to compete in the Midwest Invitational, a selective tournament featuring some of the top squads in Division III. “This tournament is a really big deal,” senior captain Kelly McDavitt said. “You have to be invited to it. We haven’t been invited to this tournament in three years, so we’re really excited.”The Belles will first face Wisconsin-La Crosse Friday, a team that they fell to in the second match of their season. The Eagles are two-time defending champions of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Saint Mary’s and Wisconsin-La Crosse faced each other March 12, with the Eagles dominating in a 7-2 victory and dropping the Belles’ season record at the time to 0-2. Now better prepared and with an overall record of 7-6 – and a perfect conference record of 3-0 – the Belles will attempt to avenge that loss and advance.”They are a tough team, but I think we have a chance at beating them,” Saint Mary’s coach Dee Stevenson said. McDavitt agreed.”We played them on our second day of spring break and were still adjusting to our playing potential,” McDavitt said. “We feel a lot more comfortable now, and I’m pretty sure we can beat them this time.”In the previous matchup between the two teams, Saint Mary’s did not play up to its potential. Wisconsin-La Crosse senior Angie Riedel defeated McDavitt in straight sets. Freshman Camille Gebert had better luck in the No. 2 singles spot, beating Eagles freshman Rachel Benn, but Belles sophomore Mary E. Campbell could not pull of the win in the No. 3 singles spot against Wisconsin-La Crosse senior Julie Tellefsen.Saint Mary’s freshman Lisa Rubino won the fourth singles spot, defeating Eagles senior Erin Fekete, but Belles senior Tara O’Brien lost to Eagles freshman Carlie Bohrman in straight sets. In the final singles spot, Saint Mary’s junior Cassie Quaglia lost in straight sets to Wisconsin-La Crosse freshman Sarah Schoenwaelder. The Belles’ luck did not seem to change during the doubles matches. Though the powerhouse duo of Gebert and McDavitt battled hard and lost in a close match, the two eventually fell to Riedel and Tellefsen 9-7. Likewise, Campbell and Rubino fell 8-4 in a heated match against Benn and Fekete in the No. 2 doubles spot. In the final match of the day, the duo of Belles senior Grace Gordon and O’Brien lost to Schoenwaelder and senior Courtney Tornow 8-5. The winner will continue play on Saturday.