Saint Mary’s Coach Dale Campbell comments on tennis team’s resilience in historic season
Dominic Gibson | Friday, May 21, 2021
It was a season full of unpredictability for the Saint Mary’s College tennis team. Through it all, the Belles finished with a 6-6 record on the season and 4-3 in MIAA Conference play, ultimately falling 4-0 in the conference tournament semifinals to Hope College (12-3, 7-0 MIAA).
Finding a balance between schoolwork and athletics is always a challenge but it was especially so this season with a shortened year both on the court and academically. St. Mary’s head coach Dale Campbell was very pleased with the way his team handled their business in the classroom.
“Basically, I am proud of our team for managing academics, in a compressed year and in a compressed season,” Campbell said. “They handled it all as best I could. College students and student-athletes did not get to enjoy a typical year, but they adapted well.”
Although the squad did not quite meet overall team expectations, the season was still full of growth and improvement for the Belles, something that was not a shock for coach Campbell.
“We didn’t quite meet our expectations, yeah it was going to be an unpredictable season. You weren’t sure who was playing each week for your opponent or your own team,” he said. “It wasn’t a big surprise, but we had a lot of individual improvement from a number of players.”
When asked about standout players, coach Campbell had high praise for two of his seniors, Lilly Chamberlin and Megan Davy, the latter of which secured two prestigious end-of-season awards to cap off the year. Davy picked up three conference singles wins and a 6-1 record in doubles to earn her second career All-MIAA first-team honors as well as the Sue Little Sportsmanship Award which is given to the athlete that best exemplifies sportsmanship both on and off the court.
“Senior Lilly Chamberlin had her best season and had a lot of big wins for us,” Campbell said. “Megan Davy definitely led our team, earning first-team All-MIAA and also won the MIAA Conference Sue Little Sportsmanship Award for the second time in her career.”
Despite the shortened season and a very condensed academic year, coach Campbell was able to learn how adaptable and flexible his team was in the face of adversity, something that he hopes will carry over into next season and for many more after.
“Student-athletes manage the situations well, and they were fortunate to have some activity in this year,” Campbell said. “They are resilient.”