WOMEN'S TENNIS: Saint Mary's thrashes Albion College with singles wins
By JENNIFER BARTALINO
By the end of the night Wednesday, the Belles tennis team finally let out a long-overdue sigh of relief as their conference opponents, Albion College, finally succumbed to the pressure of yet another high intensity match.
"This is definitely a huge win for the Belles," said sophomore Elisa Ryan of the team's 6-3 victory.
Although Albion nabbed the No.1 and No.2 singles spots, as well as the No.1 doubles, the Belles held onto Nos. 3-6 singles and Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to claim the victory.
The closeness and intense pressure that prevailed at last night's match reminded head coach Dee Stevenson of last Wednesday's victory over Valparaiso.
"It all came down to our depth being the key factor," Stevenson said.
Stevenson also believed that freshman Jeannie Knish's 5- 7, 6-1, 6-2 win in the No. 3 singles spot and a victory in the No. 2 doubles spot, were crucial.
"(Those two victories) really took a lot of pressure off our doubles," Stevenson said.
Knish and her doubles partner Kaitlin Cutler, also a freshman, agreed that the closeness of the match they played was just what they needed at this point in the season.
"It was really an eye-opening match for us that reminds us how much we need to stay on our toes," Cutler said.
The team agreed that Wednesday's match proved that every point matters.
"We are strong all-around, from the top seed to the bottom," sophomore Elisa Ryan said. "There are no weak links in our team."
Before losing to Saint Mary's, Albion College had previously been undefeated. The Belles now hold a record of 8-0.
Saint Mary's hits the court again Friday afternoon, at Hope College. Its next home game will be against the University of Chicago, this Saturday at 1 p.m.
All Sports Stories for Thursday, April 5, 2001