The Gustavus Women’s Tennis team added three more wins to their record this past weekend as they bested Division II Southwest Minnesota State, before beating Carleton and St. Thomas.
They opened their weekend in the Swanson Tennis Center with a one-sided Friday night match against the Mustangs of Southwest Minnesota State.
The Gusties were absolutely dominant in the doubles action, as they dropped just one game across the three courts.
Junior Bri Hartmann and Senior Ally Baker combined for the 8-0 shutout at No.1, while Senior Katie Aney and Junior Lily Hartman matched their score at the second spot.
Junior Sheila Sullivan and First Year Ginger Valentine finished the sweep for the Gusties with an 8-1 victory.
The home team kept their momentum going into the singles, with strong performances from the top of the lineup to the bottom.
Bri Hartmann, Baker, and Lily Hartman won smoothly with scores of 6-1, 6-0, 6-3, 6-3, and 6-2, 6-0 respectively.
The bottom half of the Gustie lineup was similarly strong.
In the fourth spot, Sullivan won 6-3, 6-2, while at No. 5, Junior Ally Thorsen cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 victory.
Junior Caitlin Steffen rounded out the Gusties lineup with a 6-2, 6-0 win to secure the 9-0 victory for the Gusties.
On Saturday, the Gusties hosted Carleton in a rematch of last year’s MIAC Playoff Championship match.
Coming into the match, neither team had lost in the MIAC this spring.
The two teams appeared evenly matched as the doubles play got underway.
At the No. 1 doubles spot, the duo of Baker and Bri Hartmann got off to a hot start and gave the Gusties a huge boost with their 8-2 win.
The third doubles match was neck and neck throughout, and the tandem of Valentine and Sullivan lost a tight one 8-6, to even the overall score.
After a long battle, the second doubles match came down to a tiebreaker, and the experience of Aney and Lily Hartman paid off.
They jumped out to an early lead in the tiebreaker and ended up winning the match 9-8, giving the Gusties a 2-1 lead going into singles play.
The Gusties used the momentum coming out of doubles once again as they started strong in singles, taking five out of the six first sets.
At No. 1 and No. 3, Bri Hartmann and Baker came out firing and rolled through their opponents by scores of 6-1, 6-2, and 6-1, 6-1 respectively.
At the fourth and fifth singles spots, Valentine and Hartmann followed suit, winning 6-3, 6-3, and 6-2, 6-0, respectively.
Despite the match already being decided, Aney followed through with her match and won in a battle by a score of 6-4, 0-6, 10-6.
The sole singles loss of the day came at No. 6, as Sullivan fell 6-1, 6-1 to a very tough opponent.
When all was said and done, the Gusties won the match 7-2, and retained the top spot in the MIAC.
“The women played with a lot of energy and fire today. I am very proud of the team and the effort they brought throughout the match,”Head Coach Jon Carlson said after the match.
They couldn’t celebrate long, however, as a showdown with rival St. Thomas was scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Despite a rare deficit after doubles play, the Gusties rallied in their final match of the weekend to take down St. Thomas and show their supremacy in the MIAC.
Baker and Bri Hartmann continued their strong play at the top doubles position with an 8-6 victory.
At the second and third spots, the Gusties ran into tough teams and fell by scores of 8-5 and 8-4, respectively.
In singles play, the Gusties came out on the right side of a number of third set tiebreakers, which gave them the edge in a very tight match.
Bri Hartmann once again prevailed in her singles match by a score of 6-1, 6-2 to even the overall match at 2-2.
At No. 4 singles, Valentine also won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
With the Gusties leading 3-2, the rest of the singles matches were neck and neck.
At No. 3, Baker fell 7-5, 6-3 in a hard-fought battle.
At No. 6, Junior Ally Thorsen rallied from losing the first set 6-1 to take the second set 6-2.
In the third set breaker, Thorsen played very well, but ended up falling 12-10.
At this point, the Gusties trailed 3-4 and needed both of the remaining matches.
At No. 2 singles, Aney bounced back after losing the first set 5-7 to take the second 6-2. She played lights out in the third set tiebreaker and took it 10-3.
Finally, at No. 5 singles, Hartmann took the first set 6-3 before falling in the second set 6-7.
She handled the pressure beautifully in the third set tiebreaker and won 10-2, sealing the 5-4 victory for the Gusties.
“Today’s match was so much fun. The women really embraced the toughness of the battle between the teams. It’s pretty special to have a team that loves when they know it’s going to be a difficult match. They focused on all-out effort and never letting anything in their matches get in the way of fighting hard,” Carlson said.
For her great performances this weekend at the top of the lineup, Bri Hartmann was awarded MIAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week honors.
The Gusties return to the court Saturday, April 28 with matches against Bethel and St. Catherine’s.