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SMC Tennis: Doubles crucial in close victory

Ellyn Michalak | Friday, April 20, 2007

The Belles used strong doubles play to narrowly defeat Bethel College 5-4 in a non-conference match Thursday, bettering their overall record to 10-11.

“We had a good match – we basically came together and played to the best of our ability,” senior captain Kelly McDavitt said. “This match will help us to prepare for our final conference match.”

The Belles dominated doubles play against the Pilots, winning two of three matches. The duo of Camille Gebert and McDavitt upended Pilots sophomore Bree Oles and junior Missy Vermillion in the No. 1 spot 8-4.

In the second doubles match of the day, the freshman Belles duo of Liana Rohr and Erin Kaplan narrowly defeated Pilots players Abbie Hostetler and Erin Katterheinrich.

The Belles fell in their final doubles match of the day. The sister duo of senior Tara O’Brien and freshman Caitlin O’Brien fell to sophomores Jade Walus and Sherra Milender 8-5.

The victory against Bethel College was important for the Belles as they head into their final home conference match, which will take place this Saturday.

“Playing away from home was rough, but I think we worked through all [of] our problems,” Kaplan said. “We overcame our obstacles and pulled out the win. It was nice because some of the girls that normally don’t get to play got a chance to show their skills. Overall it was a great experience [and] good way to end three matches in a row.”

In the day’s single play, McDavitt defeated Oles 6-1, 6-1. In the second singles match of the day, standout freshman Gebert dominated, beating Vermillion 6-2, 6-2.

The Belles had a change of luck in the No. 3 singles spot, when freshman Lisa Rubino lost in a tiebreaker 11-9 to Walus. She won the first set 6-1 and lost the second set 2-6. Tara O’Brien also fell narrowly in a tiebreaker at No. 4 singles after beating Hostetler 6-1 in the first set and then falling 6-7 in the second set.

In the No. 5 singles match, Belles junior Cassie Quaglia fell to Milender 6-2, 6-1. In the No. 6 singles spot, Belles senior Grace Gordon defeated Pilots freshman Julia Horn 6-1, 7-5.

The Belles next and final home conference match is Saturday against Albion, which boasts a 4-1 MIAA record and a 10-5 overall record. The match will begin at 1 p.m. at Eck Tennis Pavillion.