Saint Mary’s Fall teams look for improvement and continued success
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, August 28, 2019
After finishing their 2018 season with a 26th place team finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional race last November, the Belles will look to reach greater heights in 2019 without the help of former seniors Adele Edmonds, Emily Harrast and Sarah Allen. That being said, the Saint Mary’s cross country team managed to accomplish a lot last year, tallying several impressive team and individual finishes on top of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. Nearly a month before that race, the Belles placed sixth overall at the MIAA Championship in Kalamzoo, Michigan, a race in which former senior Adele Edmonds placed 23rd overall, earning 21 points for the squad. Earlier that October, Saint Mary’s placed ninth at the Bethel Invitational, which included a field filled with nationally ranked NAIA schools, with Saint Mary’s standing alone as the only NCAA Division III squad. The Belles even managed to tally a positive shortly after the season in February when the squad was granted the All-Academic Team award from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Perhaps ending on such a good note will serve as a good omen for the Belles as they head into the 2019 season.
In 2018, the Saint Mary’s golf team was a beacon of success for the school’s athletic program. The season marked the Belles’ ninth NCAA tournament appearance and their eighth MIAA Championship. The Belles look forward to a year of continued success in 2019. Fortunately, the Belles have a number of key golfers returning, including juniors Hunter Kehoe and Summer Stillson, along with sophomores Sydney Hruskoci, Hannah Finley and Maggie Sexton. Kehoe had a strong season last year, earning the MIAA Most Valuable Golfer award and tying for the second-lowest MIAA scoring average in conference. Saint Mary’s looks forward to continued success with the help of these key pieces.
The Saint Mary’s soccer team will kick off its season on the road Friday against Bluffton University. The Belles’ season didn’t quite go as planned last year, as the squad finished 6-12 overall and 1-7 in conference play. These results left the Belles in eighth place at the end of the season. That being said, the Belles were quite a young team in 2018, so they will be returning the large majority of their squad looking for newfound success with a familiar team.
The Saint Mary’s tennis team finished its season in 2019 just short of an MIAA Championship appearance, as they fell to Kalamazoo 5-2 in the semifinal match. Despite the semifinal loss however, the Belles earned a number of individual accolades in the offseason. Former senior Elizabeth Priester was named a Google Cloud Academic All-American by College Sports Information Directors of America. Furthermore, the duo of former senior Monica Davy and current junior Megan Davy earned All-MIAA honors. The Belles will look to carry this momentum into the 2019 season in their quest for a conference championship appearance.
The Saint Mary’s volleyball team finished just short of an MIAA top-six appearance in the 2018 season, losing 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-20) to Trine in a must-win match. Despite the less than ideal finish, former senior Audrey Shannon was voted second team All-MIAA by the league’s coaches. She was also named a 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-American. The College’s squad also managed to earn the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. Although the Belles will be without Shannon and former senior Hannah Draddy this year, they look to avenge last year’s loss with a top-six MIAA appearance.