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SMC Tennis

Belles return to conference play against Alma

| Thursday, March 19, 2015

Coming off a week-long training trip, Saint Mary’s prepares to take the court at home Saturday against MIAA foe Alma.

The Belles (5-6, 0-1 MIAA) return to conference play against the Scots (4-4, 0-1) knowing their conference matchups will prove to be tough challenges as the season progresses.

“Teams want to beat each other and there are rivalries [in the conference],” Belles head coach Dale Campbell said. “You only get one chance with each team, so you have to be ready to play.”

According to Campbell, the Belles had to overcome a few minor injuries and took a couple extra days after their 3-3 trip to Florida to condition and nurse some of those injuries. Injuries and illness have allowed some younger players to play a key role for the Belles in past matches, and Campbell said he expects them to have an impact at Alma.

Campbell hopes to see improvement from the Belles’ doubles pairings as they return to conference play this weekend. The pairings have changed quite a bit over the course of the season, and despite a composite 9-6 performance over break, Campbell feels his team still needs to improve its play in the doubles game.

“The doubles energy has to continue to get better,” Campbell said.

Saint Mary’s, a team with four freshmen on its roster, will square off against another young team in Alma. Campbell realizes that one obstacle the Belles will have to overcome is the youth of the Scots lineup.

“I think we match up really well, but [we] have not played all of their newer players,” said Campbell.

Campbell said his team tried to get in better shape over the break.

“We took 2 days off following the trip to do some conditioning work, and are just trying to stay sharp in every aspect,” Campbell said.

Saint Mary’s gets back underway in its quest for conference success Saturday when it hosts Alma at 1 p.m.

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