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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

SMC Tennis: Belles sweep Olivet in final match before MIAA Tourney

The Belles wrapped up their regular season in fine form Tuesday, netting a 9-0 victory over MIAA opponent Olivet at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

"We have had a decent year, but want to strive for better results," head coach Dale Campbell said. "We know we have the ability, but we have to work harder and smarter to be with the top teams in our conference."

Sophomore Jillian Hurley and junior Camille Gebert were able to defeat their opponents at No. 1 doubles by a score of 8-4 to open the match. The sophomore tandem of Franca Peluso and Betsy Reed also defeated Kelsey Singer and Celeste Gruber by the same score.

Fellow sophomores Jessica Kosinski and Mary Therese Lee won at No. 3 doubles over Paige Sedgewick and Leanne Scuder 8-2 to give the Belles a 3-0 advantage.

"We are changing our doubles' strategy," Campbell said. "We have changed the lineup and we are trying to play a more aggressive style of doubles going into the tourney. We will have to take chances to win."

Peluso and fellow sophomore Jessica Camp were able to earn solid wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, combining to lose only two games.

Reed was able to drop only two games in her opening set to defeat Singer at No. 4 singles.

"We have had some individuals definitely improve their games as the season has progressed, and our confidence level has risen in certain situations," Campbell said. "Individually, we have won some close matches so that should give us some confidence in a close dual match."

Gebert was able to close out her undefeated conference season at No. 2 singles, defeating Giana Guerra 6-2, 6-3.

Kosinski was able to defeat Gruber at No. 3 singles by a score of 6-4, 6-3, while Hurley was able to fight through a tough first set to win 7-5, 6-0 at No. 1 to round out the Belles sweep.

The Belles will be heading to Kalamazoo on Thursday to wrap up their season at the MIAA Conference tournament.

"We have a better idea of what to expect," Campbell said. "It will be easier for both myself and the team heading into the tournament knowing a little more about our opponents."

The Belles are currently in fifth place after the regular season heading into the conference finale.

"They are close to reaching my expectations," Campbell said. "However we will definitely raise the bar. We will change quite dramatically over the next year. We will play doubles in a different manner going forward."