Belles Stopped by Hornets in MIAA Tournament Semifinal
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Saint Mary's tennis team may have entered the MIAA Tournament as underdogs against top-seeded Kalamazoo, but that did not keep the Belles from putting up a big fight against the Hornets before falling 5-1.
The doubles flights were packed with strong rallies and tight matches. Margaret Faller and Andrea Fetters went back-and-forth with their Kalamazoo counterparts, but the Belles duo ultimately came up three games shy of the Hornets in an 8-5 final at three doubles.
Mary Catherine Faller and Kayle Sexton fell behind early in their one doubles match against the regionally-ranked pairing of Sarah Woods and Jenna Riehl. Faller and Sexton trailed 3-0 and were still behind by the same three-game margin at 6-3 before making a huge comeback. The pair won the next five games in-a-row for an 8-6 victory to square the match at 1-1 through the first two completed flights.
Shannon Elliott and Audrey Kiefer put up a similar battle in the two doubles flight. The Hornets claimed a 7-4 lead and were on the verge of a decisive win at two doubles. Elliott and Kiefer won the next three games to tie the flight at 7-7. The Hornets pulled ahead 8-7, but the Belles came right back with the next game to force the tiebreaker. The two doubles teams traded blows point for point and were knotted at 4-4 in the tiebreaker. The Kalamazoo pairing, however, took three of the next four points for the 7-5 tiebreaker to give the Hornets the 2-1 lead after doubles.
Riding the momentum from doubles play, the regionally-ranked Hornets went on to take the first three singles matches that were played to decision to claim a 5-1 win and advance to the conference tournament championship.
Shannon Elliott ended on the short side of a 6-3, 6-1 final at four singles, Kayle Sexton fell 6-1, 6-1 at two singles, and Mary Catherine Faller lost a tightly played 6-2, 6-3 final at one singles.
Jackie Kjolhede had just started her second set after falling 6-4 in the opener before the match was decided. The junior's three singles match was not played out.
The Belles conclude their season with an 11-8 overall record.
#9 Kalamazoo College 5, Saint Mary's College 1
1. #4 Sarah Woods (KZOO-W) def. Mary Catherine Faller (SMC) 6-2, 6-3
2. Jenna Riehl (KZOO-W) def. Kayle Sexton (SMC) 6-1, 6-1
3. Kelsey Moran (KZOO-W) vs. Jackie Kjolhede (SMC) 6-4, unfinished
4. Sabrina Dass (KZOO-W) def. Shannon Elliott (SMC) 6-3, 6-1
5. Ania Latala (KZOO-W) vs. Andrea Fetters (SMC) unfinished
6. Olivia Bouchard (KZOO-W) vs. Audrey Kiefer (SMC) unfinished
1. Mary Catherine Faller/Kayle Sexton (SMC) def. #14 Sarah Woods/Jenna Riehl (KZOO-W) 8-6
2. Kelsey Moran/Olivia Bouchard (KZOO-W) def. Shannon Elliott/Audrey Kiefer (SMC) 9-8 (7-5)
3. Sabrina Dass/Ania Latala (KZOO-W) def. Margaret Faller/Andrea Fetters (SMC) 8-5
Saint Mary's College 11-8, 5-3 MIAA
Kalamazoo College 15-4, 8-0 MIAA; Regional ranking #9
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,2,1)
MIAA Tournament semifinal match
Official: Harold VanderSalm T-2:35 A-75