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SMC Tennis: Team beats Bethel, refocuses for Alma

Dong-Hyun Kim | Friday, April 12, 2013


Coming off a brutal 8-1 loss against Albion on Wednesday, the Belles redeemed themselves with a 7-2 win over Bethel at the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Thursday. 

The Belles (7-5, 2-1 MIAA) faced some early struggles, falling behind in No. 1 and 2 doubles. In addition, sophomore Shannon Elliott quickly dropped her match at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-3. 

The Belles, however, turned the match around when the No. 1 doubles pair of junior Mary Catherine Faller and sophomore Kayle Sexton came back to win 8-6 against the NAIA Pilots (12-5, Crossroads League). 

“We had to focus shot by shot rather than look at the big picture,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said. “We were down in two doubles matches, but we came back to win one.”   

The Belles took advantage of the match in singles, as sophomores Audrey Kiefer and Jackie Kjolhede won at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. 

Campbell said inconsistency with serves, net plays and passing shots led to some early problems for the Belles. He also said net play was a crucial area for improvement going forward in the season.

Despite these problems, the match was sealed at 6-2 with ensuing singles wins by Kiefer, Kjolhede and freshman Margaret Faller, as well as a win by the No. 3 doubles team of Elliott and Margaret Faller

Campbell said resilience, consistency and depth made up the difference between the Belles’ blowout loss against Albion and its dominating win over Bethel. 

“We were successful because we have a good combination of consistency in terms of high percentage shots, depth and technique that we showed today,” Campbell said. 

With its 2-0 conference record, the Belles are in contention for the MIAA championship, given to the team with the best record in conference dual matches. 

The Belles will look to continue their winning ways when they travel to Alma, Mich., to face Alma at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Contact D.H. Kim at [email protected]