Belles tennis off to hot start in 2023
Aidan Thomas | Wednesday, March 1, 2023
The Saint Mary Belles’ tennis squad is off to a hot start in their 2023 season, ripping off three straight victories to begin their campaign. They’ll enter conference play with an unbeaten record and will play their conference opener on Friday, March 10 before they head to Florida for some non-conference spring break tennis.
The Belles’ season officially started on Feb. 11 as they thrashed Concordia (Mich.) by a 9-0 scoreline. All three doubles teams won their matches 8-0, and the Belles dropped only a single game across six dominant efforts. Saint Mary’s got back into action this past weekend, and the Belles didn’t miss a beat.
Spring Arbor proved to be much stiffer competition for Saint Mary’s, and the Cougars stole a point at No. 1 doubles. However, senior Lucy Chamberlin partnered with freshman Leah Hosang to clutch an 8-6 victory at the second court. That gave the Belles a 2-1 lead after senior Kathleen McLeod and freshman Evelyn Demblans-Dechans won 8-4 on the third court. In singles, Hosang cruised through her match on the fourth court, not dropping a single game. Wins from freshman Emma Kealy (6-0, 6-2) and Demblans-Dechans (6-1, 6-1) soon followed, and the Belles clinched the match. Chamberlin and McLeod won at No. 1 and No. 5 singles, respectively, which brought Saint Mary’s to seven total wins and a 7-2 victory.
It was back to pure dominance for the Belles against Saint Francis on Saturday. The Belles won 9-0, as Saint Francis actually forfeited the third doubles court and the last two singles courts. The Belles won with ease on the top-two doubles courts to stake a 3-0 advantage heading into singles, but with the forfeits, Saint Mary’s had already clinched the team result. However, they saw out their other four matches, winning at each of the top-four courts. Freshman Hannah Gerner notched her first victory of the spring at No. 4 singles. Chamberlin, sophomore Alayna Campbell and McLeod took care of the top-three courts, earning the Belles a 9-0 victory.
Saint Mary’s gets a bit of time off now before opening conference competition. The Belles finished 5-3 in MIAA play last year, earning the final spot in the conference tournament. They’ll open their conference slate versus Adrian (3-5 in MIAA last year) on Friday, March 10. The Belles then hit the road, playing four matches in Florida during spring break.