The Gustavus Women’s Tennis team has enjoyed their rather short fall season. The fall season consisted of some practices, a few weekend trips, and a Midwest Regional Championship meet which was hosted here at Gustavus.
There have been multiple highlights throughout the short season.
The team has only participated in a handful of competitions this fall, including matches against Division I and Division II teams. Competitions this fall included the University of Northern Iowa Invite, as well as the Augustana College Invite, among a few others. The team will have a fuller season this upcoming spring. The team also had some beneficial practices this fall, as well.
The fall season has been backed by strong performances from many members of the team. Junior Michaela Schultz and Sophomore Ally Baker made it to the quarterfinals in the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships doubles tournament.
“Ally Baker and I fell short by only a few points to a team that eventually won the draw unseeded. We made them earn the match they played against us and really played some impressive GAC doubles,” Schultz said.
Schultz also had an extremely strong day in the singles portion of the tournament, making it all the way to the semi-finals.
“Even though I fell short to the eventual champion, I gained a lot that day. It was an amazing day to have the support and love of family, friends, teammates and coaches. That day is a day I will never forget and will hold near and dear to me for a long time,” Schultz said.
The members of the team are all looking forward to the spring season. Graduating only one senior last spring, and adding some first-years to the team this year, there are some high expectations for the spring.
The general goal of the team is to win the MIAC conference, as well as make it to nationals.
“We had a great group of freshman last year and a great group of freshman again this year. Our team is going to be very strong. We took the MIAC title last spring, but I really do believe we can make it to nationals this year,” Sophomore Taylor Shortly said.
There is a lot of chemistry on the team, as well.
“We have such a wide variety of personalities yet we all get along so well. I don’t think I have ever been on a team that cares for one another like the team we have now. It is definitely a blessing and I couldn’t pick a better group of girls to spend my senior season with,” Senior Sidney Dirks said.
Dirks is one of three seniors on the team, so she has a bit of a different outlook on this season.
“Before every match I just tell myself that I don’t get to compete at this high of a level for much longer. I just want to have as much fun playing the sport I love while I can still do it at a competitive level. I know I will miss it so much,” Dirks said.
As the snow will start to fall, the Gustavus Women’s Tennis team will be hard at work preparing for the spring.
“I expect us to be ready to go this spring, I know the girls will be working hard in the off season and be ready to go,” Schultz said.
The team looks forward to spring and the preparation that it will take to fulfill the goals that have been set.