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SMC Tennis: Belles lose in opener to CWRU

Isaac Lorton | Monday, February 20, 2012

Saint Mary’s opened its season with a rough start, falling to No. 14 Case Western Reserve University 9-0. The Belles (0-1) continued to fight despite being swept in two doubles matches and two singles matches.

Belles coach Dale Campbell said he thinks the young team, consisting of only freshman and sophomores, gained valuable experience in playing the ranked Spartans (1-0).

“It was good for us to see a high quality team, especially for the freshmen,” Campbell said. “It was good for them to see the level of competition they should be, and can be, competing at.”

He added Saint Mary’s discovered what it needs to work on and what it can do to improve its game moving forward, Campbell said.

“We learned we need to be more aggressive as a whole,” Campbell said. “We are going to work on targeting shots, playing at a greater pace and being more aggressive at the nets, especially in our doubles matches.”

Freshman Kayle Sexton and sophomore Mary Catherine Fuller both put up strong fights in their respective single matches. Sexton, in her first collegiate match, battled back before falling 6-2, 6-2. Fuller, the No.1 seed for the Belles, matched up against Spartan junior Erika Lim, who is No. 2 in the regional rankings. Fuller dropped the first game 6-0, but showed promise as she took three games in the second set before falling 6-3.

“Mary Catherine showed she is a competitor,” Campbell said. “She lost to Lim in the fall pretty quickly, but learned from that match and put up a battle this time around.”

There are still no absolute goals set for the Belles this season, but Campbell said he believes they will start setting specific objectives as they begin conference matches.

“We competed well and I saw a lot of positives we can build on,” Campbell said. “It will just take some time and experience for us to start figuring it out.”

Saint Mary’s looks to shake off its first loss when it takes on Olivet on Sunday at Michigan State at noon.

Contact Isaac Lorton at [email protected]