Allison Fajt – Staff Writer
This Weekend the Gustavus Women’s Tennis team traveled to Whitewater, Wisconsin to compete in the ITA Midwest Women’s Tennis Regional and the Midwest Open.
The tournament was hosted by University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Senior Simona Potockova advanced the farthest on the team in the Regional, yet sadly lost 0-6, 3,6 in the quarter finals to Carleton’s Mary Hose. With better luck in the open, three doubles and a singles player won their championship match.
“I’ve played in the tournament all four years. This year I was more prepared just because in pre-season we played a lot of matches within our team and then we had a tournament a few weeks ago here at Gustavus. I think that really prepared me for the ITAs,” Potockova said.
The team sent their eleven best players to the ITA Midwest Regional in hopes to secure spots for nationals to become All Americans. The elite eleven participated in both the singles and doubles ITA draw. The rest of the team also competed in the Midwest Open which included all the invited teams remaining roster. The open had eight singles draws (A-H) and four doubles (A-D).
Potockova was seeded fifth in the ITA singles tournament standings and competed in four matches with a bye in the first round. In doubles she and her partner Junior Yuki Oda seeded seventh fell 3-8 to UWW’s Bruno and Lee.
“I was nervous going into the tournament but I knew that I had the skills to get through the first round at least. Then I relaxed more once I got going and it got better. I started believing I could maybe win it and even the last match the score was not the greatest but all of our games were super close but she pulled through in the end,” Potockova said.
“All of my teammates but one (Anna Stutz) had to leave Saturday and I played one more match on Sunday. She helped warm me up in the morning- she was there and other teams had all of their players there but she made sure she was by my side cheering me on the whole time,” Potockova said.
While none of the girls competing in the regional won a title, they all fought hard through their matches and never gave up on their teammates. With tough competition, a majority made it to only the second round in singles.
“I feel like on other teams, tennis is a really individual sport but Gustavus makes a really good effort to bring us together. Like yes you are alone on the court but you are playing for your teammates,” Potockova said.
Senior Sydney Douglas lost 1-6 1-6 Junior Emily Norman 6-7(3) 6-3 9-11 in a tiebreak and Senior Hayley Trebil with a score of 2-6 1-6.
Senior Rachel Lindrud was knocked out in round two with scores 0-6 2-6 and with the same match score First-year Halle Rosentreter lost 0-6, 2-6 in round three.
Once again round two eliminated three more Gusties Senior Megan Karrow 4-6, 5-7 as well as Junior Reneta Hernandez 1-6 3-6 and Sophomore Alli Laux 4-6, 7-5 9-11 in a tiebreak.
Lasting four rounds, Senior Anna Stultz lost 1-6 0-6 and Oda three 2-6 3-6.
Potockova and Oda weren’t the only two Gusties to make it to the Doubles Quarter Finals, Rosentreter and Hernandez competed fiercely up until a duo from St. Kate’s knocked them out 3-8.
“I was really happy with how my partner Renata and I played because we were able to make it to the quarter finals which was a really big deal for us. Especially since we had only played together for a week. And it was just really fun being able to play with her, we definitely bonded over the whole experience. We also beat a seeded team from White Water which was a big deal,” Rosentreter said.
As for the rest of the Gustie’s doubles scores Trebil and Stutz lasted three rounds with a loss of 6-8 and Douglas and Norman were knocked out round one 3-8.
There was nothing but success for the Gusties competing in the Midwest Open. With three doubles championship wins out of the four draws the girls showed their dominance over their competition.
Junior Liliana Elofson and her partner First-year Brooke Haddorf won their match 8-7(0) in Open Doubles Draw A. Lindrud and Lux won their match 8-7(7) in Draw B. Senior Josie Carlson and Karrow won 8-5 in Draw D. Sophomore Emily Carlson the lone singles open victor won her match 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in Open Singles Draw A.
“I feel really proud of myself and my partner Brooke, she’s a First-year and I’m just super proud of how hard we worked together and it was just fun to be able to compete after Covid. It was a super great win and we worked so hard. It was just really nice,” Elofson said.
Once again Gustavus will return to the ITA Midwest Regional next season with new hopes of advancing in the tournament.
“Next year for both singles and doubles I would like to make it a little farther. Going into my college career my goal is to become a doubles All-American. So hopefully next year I’ll be able to make it through the tournament. This year was a really great start. Hopefully in the next three years I’ll become a doubles all American,” Rosentreter said.