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SMC Tennis: Belles take on Hope

Ellyn Michalak | Thursday, April 12, 2007

Saint Mary’s contest with Tri-State Wednesday was postponed due to snow, but the Belles return to action tonight at 5 against Hope at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.Today’s competition will be Saint Mary’s second home conference match of the season. Saint Mary’s and Hope last faced off in March 2006 when the Flying Dutch defeated the Belles 6-3. Belles coach Dee Stevenson hopes to avenge last season’s loss. “We lost to Hope last year, and we certainly hope to improve our play this year,” he said. Anneliese Fox, the 2006 MIAA most valuable player, lead Hope to victory against the Irish. Returning this season without Fox, Hope boasts three returning letter winners. The Flying Dutch will turn to sophomore Samantha Stille, junior Christina Garcia, and senior Ashley Leary to pick up where Fox left off. Though Hope College boasts a 9-7 record overall, the Belles are seeded ahead of them in league play. Hope maintains a 2-1 MIAA record, with a 5-4 lost to Kalamazoo. During last season’s match, McDavitt fell to Stille at the No. 2 singles spot. This year McDavitt will compete in the No. 1 spot, hoping to avenge last year’s loss to. The regular duo of McDavitt and freshman Camille Gebert will compete at the No. 1 doubles spot and likely face Stille and Lucy Himes.Saint Mary’s last competition came April 6-7 during a trip to Madison, Wis., for the Midwest Invitational. Though the Belles finished 0-3 in the tournament, senior captain Kelly McDavitt said it was an honor just to be invited to play some of the Midwest’s top teams.”The Midwest Invitational was a great opportunity for our team,” McDavitt said. “From this weekend’s matches our team now knows what we need to do to improve our game to win our next conference match and continue our undefeated record.”The Belles first fell to No. 29 University of Wisconsin LaCrosse 8-1. They went on to compete against the Wisconsin-White Water, and after a tough battle, the Belles eventually lost 5-4. In the final match of the weekend, the Belles were defeated 7-2 by Wisconsin-Eau Claire.Wednesday’s match was rescheduled to April 18.