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SMC Tennis

Saint Mary’s splits weekend matches

| Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saint Mary’s rebounded from a 9-0 loss to Ohio Northern on Saturday by defeating Wittenberg 9-0 in its second match of the day to improve to 2-2 on the season.

In singles play against Ohio Northern, Belles senior Kayle Sexton and freshman Maddie Minaudo were both defeated in straight sets by scores of 6-0 and 6-1. Junior Andrea Fetters was narrowly defeated in straight sets by scores of 6-4 and 7-6 (5). Senior Shannon Elliot lost her first set 6-0, won her second one by a score of 6-4, and lost her last set 10-8. Freshman Bailey Oppman fell in straight sets by scores of 6-2 and 6-3. Freshman Kelsey Kopf lost her first set of the day 6-4, then won her second set 6-1 before losing her last set by a score of 10-8.

In doubles play, Fetters and Elliot were taken down 8-3 by Ohio Northern, and sophomore Sam Setterblad and Sexton were defeated by the same margin in the second doubles match.  Senior Jackie Kjolhede and Minaudo fell 8-4 in the final doubles match.

“We have to anticipate shots better, be ready 100 percent of the time and continue to cut errors on shots that are meant to set up the points,” Belles coach Dale Campbell said.

The Belles had a much better outing against Wittenberg, not losing a single set the entire match. In singles play against Wittenberg, Fetters, Sexton, Elliot, Kjolhede, Oppman and Minaudo all dominated with victories in straight sets.

Saint Mary’s also fared well in doubles play. Setterblad and Sexton won 8-2. The duo of Elliot and Fetters shut out their opponents by a score of 8-0, and freshman Rina Moore and sophomore Kaity Venters followed suit in the last match of the day.

Campbell said he was proud of his team’s ability to bounce back after struggling in the beginning of the day.

“I was impressed with all of our players, especially Shannon Elliott and Andrea Fetters in singles,” Campbell said. “They had fought hard to come back in their matches against Ohio Northern, taking their matches to a point that they could have gone either way.  I was impressed with how we continued to fight even when we lost.  That will help us in the future.  Our experienced players showed their resilience and our first-year and sophomore players got a lot of valuable experience.  We weren’t at full strength in either match with some players out of the lineup.”

The Belles next go on the road to Hope for the a conference matchup.

“Hope is extremely talented so we have to be sharp mentally, stay aggressive and focus one shot at a time,” Campbell said. “Slight errors cannot be afforded. We have to hit the ball clean and reach our targets.”

Saint Mary’s will face the Flying Dutch on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hope in Holland, Michigan.

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