The Belles will certainly have their hands full Saturday as they look for their first win of the season versus the Rose-Hulman Engineers at Wabash College.
Saint Mary's looks to move in a positive direction after disappointing performances in its first meet as it lost to Hope 89-11 and Olivet 98-13.
A confident Rose-Hulman should be ready for the challenge, energized after recording several top finishes in the recent Monmouth Invitational. The invite field included national swimming power Chicago and Division I Western Illinois among the six-team field.
Junior Erin O'Connor of the Engineers led the team's effort with two first-place finishes and part of a relay victory. O'Connor won the 100-butterfly in a time of 1:04.71 and the 100-breaststroke in 1:11.82.
The 400-medley relay team of Chrissy Guidi, O'Connor, Elaine Kratz and sophomore Anita Isch captured top honors with a time of 4:24.46 as well.
Saint Mary's captain Katie Dingeman stresses that it is still early in the season.
"Our team still has a lot of training to do before we get to where we want to be," Dingeman said.
Yet the Belles look to Saturday as a chance to move forward.
"We want to improve our individual times and continue to have fun," she said.
Rose-Hulman is a new opponent for the Belles as a non-MIAA team. It will be Saint Mary's last opponent before embarking on winter training.
After Saturday, Saint Mary's next meet will not take place until the Jan. 14 when the Belles take on Alma at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.