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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

Belles junior Kayle Sexton hits a serve during Saint Mary's match against Hope on April 17.

Belles battle back for 5-4 win over Carthage

Kealy's performance in match earned her MIAA Athlete of the Week

After two losses against Spring Arbor and Goshen, the Saint Mary’s tennis team battled back and snatched a close 5-4 win from the Carthage Firebirds. 

The Belles struggled in doubles play, going 1-2. However, a strong singles performance helped propel the team to a win.

In the first match of the day, Alayna Campbell and freshman Evelyn Demblans-Dechans lost 8-0 against Xingchen Liu and Giovanna Mendes for the Belles’ first loss. In the second match, Anna Gardner and her partner Emma Kealy took control and gained an 8-4 win over Marie Weis and Sasha Manojlovic, earning the first point of the day for the Belles. In the third match, Grace Clearwater and Hannah Gerner came up short with a close 8-6 loss to Victoria Rizzo and Maddie Kearney.

Singles competition went markedly different for the Belles, with the squad rolling to a 4-2 record against the Firebirds.

In the first singles match, Campbell fell to Liu 6-1, 6-0. In the second singles match, Kealy notched the first win for the Belles, defeating Weis in straight sets. Demblans-Dechans also won in straight sets for Saint Mary's, winning both sets 6-3 and tying the overall score 3-3. Gardener pushed the Belles ahead in the fourth match, winning a close one against Giovanna Mendes. Gardner lost her first set 6-4 but battled back winning the second set 6-4, sending the match into a tiebreaker. She went on to win the tiebreaker 6-3.

Katie Hunter lost to Carthage’s Maddie Kearney in the fifth match, dropping the first set 6-2 and the second set 6-3. Wasting no time in the sixth and final match of the singles competition, Gerner defeated Rizzo in straight sets 6-1, 6–3.

Kealy was named MIAA Athlete of the Week for her efforts. The Belles return to action on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. when host to St. Francis.

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