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SMC Tennis

Belles overcome thin roster, close season 5-3

| Friday, May 13, 2022

Despite a shorthanded start to the spring season, the Saint Mary’s tennis team found a way to display resilience and earn a 5-3 conference record in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The Belles also earned post-season accolades. Junior Lucy Chamberlin and freshman Alayna Campbell were named to the All-MIAA second team, setting up a bright outlook for the team next year. The pair play as Saint Mary’s No. 1 doubles pair. Chamberlin plays at the No. 1 singles spot as well while Alayna Campbell closed the season at No. 2.

Despite a rather tough season, head coach Dale Campbell highlighted some high points throughout the year.

There were a few big moments, but a favorite was when we were playing Trine in our conference who we had lost to last year. With the match tied, we had seniors Meredith Heckert and Nikki Rust playing close matches,” Campbell said. “With all of our eyes on her match, Meredith came up with a close two set win to clinch the team win. We went on to win 6-3 as Nikki won as well.” 

Campbell also mentioned the team’s win against Adrian as another high point during the season.

We also had to win against conference foe Adrian and won five close matches to win in a dramatic fashion,” Campbell said. “Our one and two doubles teams won after being down 2-5 early, and we had three singles matches finish within 10 minutes of each other, all coming down to a third set or 10-point tiebreaker.” 

Hardship is something that every team faces and this Saint Mary’s team was no different. While the squad lost a few players early in the season, they found a way to rally and come together, something Campbell was very proud of.

“About one month before we began the spring season, we lost three players for various reasons,” Campbell said. “We had to quickly regroup and challenge ourselves to play above any adversity. We came together as a team and played above expectations.” 

Looking ahead to next season, Campbell said he is looking forward to having some much needed depth on the team and hopes that his squad might be able to improve their seeding position in the conference tournament. “We will have four seniors returning and have a fairly large class coming in the fall. We could have great depth,” Campbell said. “It’s early to form those goals, but we would like to set our sights on being one of the top three seeds going into our conference tournament next year.”

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