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SMC Tennis: Albion sweeps doubles pairings to beat Saint Mary’s

Matt Unger | Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Saint Mary’s MIAA opener Tuesday, Albion College held the edge in doubles play, finishing 3-0 in deciding sets in singles’ play to earn a 7-2 victory over the Belles (5-5, 0-1).

“I was proud of the team’s effort, but we knew we had the talent to beat this team,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said following the match at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. “Hopefully we get another chance.”

On the doubles side, the Britons (5-1, 2-0) defeated the Belles’ No. 1 and No. 2 squads 8-3 and 8-5, respectively. However, Saint Mary’s third doubles team, composed of freshman Mary Catherine Faller and senior Jessica Kosinski, defeated Albion’s duo of freshman Marrissa Messanger and Leah Saurman 8-3 to register one of the two team victories on the night.

Doubles play has been a weakness for Saint Mary’s this year. The Belles are just 15-15 in doubles matches, while holding a 35-25 record in singles matches.

“While we made some strides tonight, we need to improve our play [in doubles] by taking advantage of opportunities to attack around the net,” Campbell said.

In singles play, Belles No. 1 player and senior co-captain Jillian Hurley fell to fellow senior and Albion rival Shelley Zamler in a back-and-forth match (0-6, 6-0, 3-6). The two opponents have frequently faced each other over the past four years in team matches and conference tournaments, with Zamler winning every contest.

While Tuesday’s outcome proved no different for Hurley, she was proud of her effort, especially in a dominating second set that gave her a shot in the third set.

“I came out relaxed, more aggressive on the net, and more confident in my serves in the second set,” Hurley said. “Overall, I’m not upset as we both played well in the third set.”

The third singles set plagued the Belles Tuesday, as Hurley and seniors Mary Therese Lee and Franca Peluso each lost to their opponents in the final set.

Senior Kate Grabarek decisively collected the Belles’ lone singles victory (6-1, 6-2) over sophomore Allie Bloodworth in the No. 5 singles match.

After 11 days between matches, the Belles return to the courts to play back-to-back home contests April 2 at 1 p.m. against MIAA opponent Trine (3-5) and April 3 against non-conference foe North Central (10-3), also at 1 p.m.