The Women’s Tennis team continued its winning ways recently with three more wins, extending their streak to five in a row.
On March 10th, the squad traveled south to Rock Island, IL for two non-conference matches against Augustana College and the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater.
In the first match of the day, the Gusties started strong with overpowering doubles play. At number one doubles, the duo of Junior Bri Hartmann and Senior Ally Baker won by a score of 8-1.
The number two doubles team of Senior Katie Aney and Junior Lilly Hartman and the number three doubles pairing of First Years Hannah Borgh and Ginger Valentine each took their matches, 8-3.
In the singles, the Gusties continued to roll, taking four of the six first sets.
At the top singles spot, Hartmann dominated in the second set after a narrow victory in the first to secure a 7-5, 6-2 victory.
In the second singles match, Ally Baker used her experience to come back after losing the first set.
“I am very proud of this team and hope the excitement continues to grow throughout the season.” — Coach Carlson
Baker took the second set 7-5, and the match came down to a third set super tiebreaker which is player to ten points. Baker held tough and won the breaker, earning a 3-6, 7-5, 10-7 victory.
In stark contrast to the battle at No. 2 singles, Aney and Valentine won with ease at the third and fourth spots by scores of 6-1, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-2, respectively.
Junior Sheila Sullivan controlled the fifth singles spot in a 6-4, 7-6 victory and fellow Junior Ally Thorsen fell narrowly by a score of 6-1, 4-6, 10-6.
Later that day, the Gusties were back in action against the No. 28-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
This time, the top doubles spot didn’t go the Gusties’ way as the top team of Baker and Hartmann fell, 8-6.
Their loss was equaled out by a big 8-3 win at the second spot from Aney and Hartman.
At No. 3 doubles, the First-year duo came up with a huge 9-8 win that gave the Gusties an important lead going into singles play.
After Baker went down 6-3, 6-1 at the second singles spot and Borgh went down 6-0, 6-0 at sixth singles, the Gusties trailed 2-3.
When Hartman lost 7-6, 6-3 at No. 5, the Gusties were on the brink of defeat and trailed 2-4.
However, the Gusties responded with clutch play in the biggest moments of the match. Hartmann scored a point at the top singles spot by taking a tight match by a score of 7-5, 3-6, 10-8.
After dropping the first set, Aney responded at third singles by taking the second set and the match by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 10-7.
With the match all squared at 4-4, Valentine entered a third set breaker to decide the match. After going back and forth, she ended up on top by a score of 7-6, 2-6, 13-11.
“It doesn’t get any better than having a freshman clinch the match with a tiebreaker in the third,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said.
Carlson was pleased with the team’s first win over a ranked opponent of the season in their second match of the day. They showed great resolve to pull out the win in what was surely an exhausting day full of tennis.
“It was a great day for the whole team, I think having everyone on the trip made a big difference,” Carlson said.
After their two big wins in Illinois, the 33rd-ranked Gusties returned to Minnesota for a conference match against St. Olaf on Friday, March 16th.
Once again, the Gusties took control early with a 3-0 lead after the doubles play.
At the top spot, Baker and Hartmann won by a score of 8-6, while the second doubles duo of Aney and Hartman won 8-0. Valentine and Borgh completed the sweep with an 8-5 victory.
In singles, the Gusties won in relatively straightforward fashion at the top of the lineup.
Bri Hartmann, Ally Baker, and Lily Hartman won by identical scores of 6-1, 6-3 at the No.1, No. 2, and No. 5 singles spots, respectively.
Aney and Valentine gave up just two games each throughout their singles matches. Aney won by a score of 6-1, 6-1 while Valentine cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win.
At the sixth spot, Borgh dropped a very hard-fought match by a score of 6-1, 6-7, 12-10.
With the series of wins, the Gusties’ record improved to 6-5, and they remain undefeated at 3-0 in the MIAC.
“I am very proud of this team and hope the excitement continues to grow for the rest of the season,” Carlson said.
They return to action on March 30th against Saint Benedict.