Tennis Season Recap
Another solid year for the Belles tennis program led to the team’s second consecutive MIAA Tournament appearance while extending their streak of seasons with at least 10 wins to 10 years.
The team opened the year at the ITA Regional Tournament in Kalamazoo in September. Sam Setterblad and Maddie Minaudo advanced to the second day of competition in doubles play before bowing out of the tournament to advance the furthest of anyone competing for the Belles.
In the first dual match of the season later that month, the Belles took little time to claim their first win of the year with a 7-2 victory over Judson at home. After opening the spring season with a pair of defeats, the Belles bounced back with a 9-0 victory against Wittenberg.
The team opened up their spring break trip in Florida with three straight wins. The Belles opened that streak with an impressive 5-4 win over nationally-ranked Coe. They overcame a 1-2 deficit after the completion of doubles to take four of the six singles matches and the big 5-4 decision.
As the month of March came to a close, the Belles earned a pair of conference wins with 6-3 and 8-1 victories over Alma and Olivet. The team made it three consecutive MIAA decisions with a 7-2 win at home against Trine early in April.
After a setback against Calvin, the Belles rattled off consecutive 8-1 wins over Adrian and Albion to all but secure a spot in the top-four MIAA Tournament. The victory against Adrian gave the team their tenth win of the season and extended the program’s consecutive years with at least ten wins to ten years. The decision at Albion, meanwhile, was the Belles’ first win over the Brits in 11 years.
When the regular season of MIAA competition was complete, the Belles had sole possession of fourth place in the conference and earned their second trip to the conference tournament in as many years. The team had a tall task in taking on nationally-ranked Hope in the semifinal round of the tournament. The top-seeded Flying Dutch were too much to overcome for the upset-minded Belles, however, as Saint Mary’s was eliminated by Hope in a 5-0 final.
Several members of the team had impressive efforts which contributed to the team’s success in 2015. Jackie Kjolhede capped off a solid career by posting a team-best 14 singles wins, which included a 6-2 mark in MIAA competitions. Shannon Elliott registered 10 singles wins and was part of 11 doubles wins during her senior campaign. Margaret Faller and Bailey Oppman each contributed 10 singles wins in 2015 while Kayle Sexton was just outside the double-digit win column with nine singles victories during her senior season. Sam Setterblad, meanwhile, helped contribute to 10 doubles wins this spring.
At the conclusion of the MIAA Tournament, Andrea Fetters was named Second Team All-MIAA for her efforts during the 2015 season. Her all-conference selection extended another long-running streak for the program as the Belles have had a tennis player honored with all-conference accolades in each season since joining the MIAA in 1997-98.