The Gustavian Weekly

Women’s Tennis moves to 3-0 in the MIAC: Gusties sweep Hamline and Concordia | The Gustavian Weekly

By Michael O’Neil - Staff Writer | March 6, 2020 | Sports & Fitness

After facing difficult competition early in the year, the Gustavus Women’s Tennis Team got back on track last weekend with two convincing MIAC wins at the Swanson Tennis Center.
The Gusties opened their spring season with a routine 9-0 victory over St. Mary’s in Winona before taking off on trips to Iowa and Washington on back-to-back weekends.
“Great start to the spring season against a very good Saint Mary’s team. I thought we competed well and learned a lot about what we need to work on as we move forward,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said.
Junior Ginger Valentine was named the MIAC Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week for her 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles and 8-1 win with Sophomore Simona Potockova at No. 1 doubles.
The following weekend, the Gusties traveled to Iowa to take on Division I opponents University of Northern Iowa and Drake University.
On Saturday, the Gusties took on UNI in Cedar Falls and fought hard but fell 7-0 to the Panthers.
Valentine fell 6-3, 6-3 at the top singles spot and Sophomore Rachel Lindrud pushed her opponent to 6-4 in the second set.
The following day, the Gusties were hosted by Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Valentine led the Gusties once again, falling 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. First-year Emily Norman fell in two close sets as well at No. 6 singles. Despite competing well, the Gusties fell 7-0 to the Bulldogs.
“Both matches we played well and I thought we played better on Sunday. It truly was a great learning experience. Now we can focus on practice next weekend and work on things that were exposed in these two matches,” Carlson said.
The Gusties were on the move once again the following weekend, this time as a split squad. While one group traveled to Walla Walla, Washington to take on Whitman College and Linfield College, another cohort stayed home to take on Division II University of Sioux Falls.
In St. Peter, the Gusties lost the doubles point after dropping three close doubles sets.
Senior Kailey Maroney and First-year Lili Elofson bounced back with identical 6-4, 6-4 wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively, but it wasn’t enough for the Gusties.
First-year Yuki Oda fell in a tight super breaker at No. 2 and USF took No. 1 through No. 4 singles to secure a 5-2 victory.
At the same time, the other group was taking on Whitman College on their home courts in Walla Walla.
In the doubles, the Gusties fell 8-3 at both No. 2 and No. 3 doubles before Valentine and Potockova fell just short in a tiebreaker at the top spot.
The blues continued to ride their momentum into the singles, and took quick victories at the second through sixth singles spots. At No. 1, Valentine fell in a close 7-5, 6-4 contest.
The Gusties didn’t have long to dwell on the match, as they were back on court taking on Linfield College the next morning.
After dropping all three doubles matches, the Gusties bounced back to take first set tiebreakers at No. 2, and No. 6 singles.
The Wildcats responded swiftly, however, by taking second sets in both matches. After splitting sets, Potockova fell 11-9 at No. 2 while Norman’s match went unfinished.
At No. 3 singles, Sophomore Anna Stutz lost the first set, but bounced back to take the second set and win the super tiebreaker 10-3 to secure the Gusties only victory on the day.
Despite their losses, the Gusties used this experience when they returned to Minnesota for conference play the following weekend. They dispatched both Concordia and Hamline 9-0 with no doubles match closer than 8-3 and no singles set closer than 6-3.
The Gusties sit at 3-5 overall and 3-0 in the MIAC. They return to competition this Saturday when they host UW-Whitewater and Augustana University at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.

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