SMC Tennis: Belles hope for good weather at Valparaiso
BY LISA REIJULA
The Saint Mary's tennis team is hoping for a little cooperation from the weather as they travel to Valparaiso in the second attempt at playing a match with the Crusaders. On March 19, the match was postponed due to rain.
"Last week we only played one game before it started pouring," junior Kaitlin Cutler said. "We were disappointed, so hopefully we'll get to go this time."
The Belles (5-1) come into the matchup with confidence stemming from a 9-0 pounding of Tri-State University Sunday. All six singles players and all three doubles teams won their matches.
"I thought we did really well on Sunday," Cutler said. "I was happy with the outcome. We hadn't played outside in awhile, so it takes getting used to the windy Indiana weather."
Valparaiso enters the contest with a 2-3 record overall in spring play. The Crusaders defeated Bradley 7-0 and Wisconsin-Green Bay 5-2. They were shut out by both Arkansas-Little Rock 7-0 and Embry-Riddle 9-0. Their other loss was to St. Louis University, by the score of 5-2.
With only six players listed on their roster, the Crusaders don't appear to be an extremely tough opponent for the returning MIAA champion Belles. Valparaiso will also be playing their second match in two days. The Crusaders faced Indiana State on the road Tuesday.
"[Valparaiso] is a good team, so we want to play them and have the competition," said Cutler.
In preparation for this week's matches, the Belles have been concentrating on communication and teamwork in their doubles pairings.
"We did so well in singles over break, so we've been working more on doubles in practice," said Cutler. "The No. 1 and No. 3 teams are new partners and it takes a while to get used to playing together. It's coming along well."
The Belles face the Crusaders of Valparaiso today on the road at 2:30 p.m. at the Brown Courts.
All Sports Stories for Wednesday, March 26, 2003