Saint Mary’s felled by conference foe Calvin
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Saint Mary’s suffered its second conference loss this weekend, falling 6-3 to Calvin at home.
The Belles (9-8, 3-2 MIAA) got out to a fast start, playing strongly in the doubles matches to take an early 2-1 lead. Senior captain Shannon Elliott and junior Andrea Fetters won at No. 2 doubles by an 8-4 margin, while junior Margaret Faller and first-year Maddie Minuado won decisively at No. 3 doubles, taking home an 8-1 win. Senior captain Kayle Sexton and sophomore Sam Setterblad played to a tiebreak at No. 1 doubles but lost 7-3 in the extra frame, allowing the Knights (8-6, 3-1) to salvage something from the first flights.
It was the singles matches where Saint Mary’s struggled though, as Calvin took five of six flights to win the match.
Senior captain Jackie Kjolhede brought home the lone win for the Belles in the singles matches — leading throughout in the No. 3 flight — but the rest of her teammates struggled on their own against the Knights.
First year Bailey Oppman took the first game 6-0 at No. 6 singles, but lost in three sets after successive defeats (6-4, 6-3) in the latter two sets.
The Belles’ next action comes Tuesday when they host Adrian in another conference matchup.
The Bulldogs (9-6, 2-2) rank sixth in the conference standings with one of the younger lineups in the conference — Adrian has five freshmen and no seniors — and are coming off an 8-1 loss to Kalamazoo. Adrian freshman McKenzie Kreig snagged the lone win for her team in the contest, winning at No. 6 singles in a “super-set” tiebreak.
Saint Mary’s currently sits fourth in the conference standings and will be looking to hold that vital spot; only the four highest-ranked teams at the end of the season make it to the MIAA tournament. The Belles have three remaining conference matches — today’s being the first — that will determine their postseason fate.
The Belles and the Bulldogs will get underway this afternoon at 4 p.m.