Belles Stopped by Hornets
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Saint Mary's tennis team was stopped short by the No. 10 regionally-ranked squad from Kalamazoo by a 9-0 final on Wednesday evening.
The number one doubles match played in by Kayle Sexton and Sam Setterblad was the first to conclude with the Belles falling by an 8-2 score against the regionally-ranked pairing of Sarah Woods and Sabrina Dass. Maddie Minaudo and Margaret Faller ended on the short side of an 8-3 final at three doubles. Andrea Fetters and Shannon Elliott matched their Kalamazoo counterparts throughout much of the two doubles match before being edged out 8-6.
Andrea Fetters had a tall task at one singles against regionally-ranked and two-time MIAA Most Valuable Player Sarah Woods. The junior was stopped in her upset bid by 6-0, 6-1 scores. The Hornets clinched the match after Kayle Sexton fell by a 6-2, 6-0 score at two singles.
Shannon Elliott battled in a four singles match. After coming up just short in the opening set by a 6-4 score, she came back from an early 3-0 deficit in the second set to make it 3-2. The comeback, however, was stopped there as her opponent took the next three games for the 6-2 second set decision. Jackie Kjolhede fell behind early and was unable to overcome the deficit in a 6-4, 6-2 final at four singles.
Margaret Faller lost her opening set in five singles by a 6-1 score but made a solid run at forcing a super tiebreaker by pulling ahead 3-2 in the second set. She held her advantage after the switch with a 4-3 lead before her opponent took the next two games to go ahead 5-4. The match remained closely contested until the final point, which saw Faller's opposition claim a 7-5 second set. Bailey Oppman was the last one on the court at six singles. Despite the match having already been decided, Oppman battled late but was stopped short by 6-4, 6-3 scores.
By virtue of Hope's win over Trine, the Belles are assured of finishing no lower than fourth place in the conference with a handful of other league competitions remaining. The only teams who could finish the regular season in a tie for with the Belles are Calvin and Trine, who play each other on Saturday. Should Calvin win the match, the Belles will finish tied for fourth with Trine and hold the tiebreaker over the Thunder, thus earning the final spot in the MIAA Tournament. Should Trine win the match, Calvin, Trine, and Saint Mary's would finish in a three-way tie for third place with matching 5-3 records. Other tie-breaking criteria would be needed to break the remaining tie between Trine and the Belles, some of which will not be determined until the completion of Saturday's matches.
The Belles will await the result of Saturday's matches to see where they finish in the regular season standings in the conference as well as where their potential first round match of the MIAA Tournament would be played.
Kalamazoo College 9, Saint Mary's College 0
1. #3 Sarah Woods (KZOO-W) def. Andrea Fetters (SMC) 6-0, 6-1
2. Maria Franco (KZOO-W) def. Kayle Sexton (SMC) 6-3, 6-0
3. Sabrina Dass (KZOO-W) def. Jackie Kjolhede (SMC) 6-4, 6-0
4. Olivia Bouchard (KZOO-W) def. Shannon Elliott (SMC) 6-4, 6-2
5. Cheryl Zhang (KZOO-W) def. Margaret Faller (SMC) 6-1, 7-5
6. Carrie Foura (KZOO-W) def. Bailey Oppman (SMC) 6-4, 6-3
1. #5 Sarah Woods/Sabrina Dass (KZOO-W) def. Kayle Sexton/Sam Setterblad (SMC) 8-2
2. Maria Franco/Olivia Bouchard (KZOO-W) def. Andrea Fetters/Shannon Elliott (SMC) 8-6
3. Cheryl Zhang/Carrie Foura (KZOO-W) def. Margaret Faller/Maddie Minaudo (SMC) 8-3
Saint Mary's College 11-8, 5-2 MIAA
Kalamazoo College 12-6, 5-1 MIAA; Regional ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (,1,2,4,3,5,6)