Belles Edge Out Pilots

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Needing to win three of the last four matches of the day to win, the Saint Mary's tennis team delivered with just that performance as the Belles defeated cross-town rival Bethel 5-4 on Thursday.

The Pilots took a 2-1 lead after the completion of doubles play after coming from behind to take the number one doubles flight and holding on after a strong rally by Margaret Boden and Jackie Kjolhede in the third doubles flight. Kayle Sexton and Shannon Elliott picked up an 8-2 decision at two doubles for the Belles in speedy fashion.

Audrey Kiefer picked up a 6-4, 6-1 straight-set win at five singles to tie the match at 2-2 overall, but the Pilots went back up 3-2 after taking the three singles flight after Shannon Elliott's efforts to force a third set fell short via a 15-13 tiebreaker in the second set. Mary Catherine Faller battled out a 7-5, 7-5 win at number one singles to square the match at 3-3 with the two, four, and six singles matches still being played.

Jackie Kjolhede outlasted her opponent and picked up a key win for the Belles at four singles. The freshman won her first set 6-0, but fell 6-2 in the second set. She was then trailing her Bethel counterpart 5-4 in the deciding set before coming back for the 7-5 win in the third. Margaret Boden was on the wrong side of a three-set affair at six singles as she fell 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to tie the overall standings in the match at 4-4.

Shortly after the completion of Boden's match, Kayle Sexton clinched the win for the Belles with a commanding third-set performance. The freshman took her opener 6-4 before a 7-5 loss in the second set, but she took little time to take care of business and clinch the win with a 6-1 decision in the third.

The Belles (9-6) will get back to conference play as they will travel to Adrian for an MIAA match against the Bulldogs beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.

Saint Mary's College 5, Bethel College 4
 Singles competition
1. Mary Catherine Faller (SMC) def. Molly O'Grady (BETHEL) 7-5, 7-5
2. Kayle Sexton (SMC) def. Sarah Cressman (BETHEL) 6-4, 5-7, 6-1
3. Whitney Neuenschwander (BETHEL) def. Shannon Elliott (SMC) 6-1, 7-6 (15-13)
4. Jackie Kjolhede (SMC) def. Bethany Blodgett (BETHEL) 6-0, 2-6, 7-5
5. Audrey Kiefer (SMC) def. Melissa Ramer (BETHEL) 6-4, 6-1
6. Taryn Johnson (BETHEL) def. Margaret Boden (SMC) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

 Doubles competition
1. Molly O'Grady/Whitney Neuenschwander (BETHEL) def. Mary Catherine Faller/Audrey Kiefer (SMC) 9-8 (7-2)
2. Kayle Sexton/Shannon Elliott (SMC) def. Sarah Cressman/Morgan McFarren (BETHEL) 8-2
3. Bethany Blodgett/Melissa Ramer (BETHEL) def. Margaret Boden/Jackie Kjolhede (SMC) 9-7