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SMC Tennis: Belles win second in succession

Jack Hefferon | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fresh off their first win of the season at John Carroll last week, the Belles opened their home MIAA schedule with an 8-1 win over St. Mary’s (Minn.).

The key for the Belles (2-2) in the battle of the Midwest schools is their newly-improved doubles teamwork, which was a focus for Belles coach Dale Campbell all week in practice. The team won all three doubles matches.

Freshman Mary Catherine Faller and senior Jillian Hurley combined for the Belles’ first No. 1 doubles win of the season, prevailing in a tiebreaker 9-8 (7-3). Freshman Margaret Boden and senior Mary Therese Lee had similar success in a late tiebreak, winning 9-8 (7-2) at No. 2 doubles.

On the singles side, the Belles dominated in the middle of their lineup, as the Cardinals (4-5) won nine combined games in No. 2 through No. 5 singles. Among the strong singles performances were Faller and senior Kate Grabarek, who both won their matches in 6-0, 6-1 fashion.

The only loss of the day for the Belles was in No. 1 singles, where Hurley lost to St. Mary’s (Minn.) Bailey Edwards, one of the best players in the region, 6-3, 7-6, (7-3).

Looking ahead, the Belles will have another week to tweak parts of their game and keep their momentum before a weeklong spring break trip to Florida, where they will play five matches in six days.