Allison Fajt – Staff Writer
The women’s tennis team secured a crucial win this weekend against the previously undefeated Carleton Knights. It was a close match yet the Gusties scraped by winning 5-4. The victorious home match brought the Gustie’s season record to 15-6 and they are still undefeated 6-0 in the MIAC.
“Our season as a team has really improved from the start, even the fall to the spring and then the beginning of spring to now. Right now we’re playing more as a team than we ever have and it’s really showing by us beating one of the best teams in the conference in such a tight match,” Senior Rachel Lindrud said.
Coming into the match both the Gusties and the Knights were undefeated in the MIAC so both teams had a lot to lose. Carleton proved to be a tough opponent but not too tough for the Golden Gusties.
“The win meant two different things: in one aspect it gave a ton of hope for the team of realizing that we can make it to Nationals if we really put our best step forward, as well as that there is room for improvement. I mean we did win 5-4 but that’s barely winning. There were quite a few places that we could’ve won even bigger so it just proves we are good enough,” Lindrud said.
The match started with a rocky start, Gustavus losing in all three doubles matches. Senior Simona Potockova with partner Junior Yuki Oda fell 4-8, Senior Anna Stutz and Senior Sydney Douglas 6-8, and Junior Lili Elofson and First-year Brooke Haddorff 2-8. Even with a loss in doubles the Gusties didn’t lose hope and went and secured the singles wins they needed.
“We’ve been trying to figure doubles out all year so it was a little bit of a downer to go down 0-3 right away but I think that in doing that is what kinda gave us the motivation and the momentum to push through in singles. I think that even if maybe we would’ve won a doubles I don’t know if we would’ve had that same momentum and that same willingness to fight,” Douglas said.
At 1 singles Potockova defeated her opponent with ease, her final score being 7-5, 6-0. 2 singles Stutz fell 6-4, 5-7, and then 2-10 in the tie break. At 3 singles however, Oda won her tiebreak making her match score 3-6, 6-1, 10-8. 4 and 6 singles, Douglas and Lindrud, also won their matches 6-2, 1-6, 10-7 and 6-3, 6-3.
“In singles I went in fully confident because I had nothing to lose at this point. We were already down, so I was just giving it my all on the court. After the first set I was feeling good and then got a little bit nervous but seeing my teammates on the bleachers cheering me on through my tiebreaker was what got me through and seeing all my teammates put up such a fight on the other courts also inspired me to just play my best and give it my all,” Douglas said.
Sophomore Allie Laux was the final match playing with Gustavus and Carleton tied 4-4. She overcame her opponent in an extremely close match 7-5, 2-6, 14-12. Due to Laux’s perseverance Gustavus won the match.
“It was a very long match, I was pretty physically tired and I was cramping up a little too, but we had a lot of fans there, my family was there and all my teammates were on the court supporting me. I looked at them and I knew I was in a lot of pain but I wanted to win that match for them and for the school, so I just played through the pain, kept a positive attitude, and kept smiling,” Laux said.
“It was unbelievable, I still can’t believe that happened because yeah she had 5 match points and looking back at it now I can’t believe I pulled it out, at the moment I guess I didn’t realize that my opponent could’ve won so many times. I’m super happy and proud that I did that for my team and for all the fans and coaches. I’m incredibly happy and it’s definitely my most memorable match I’ve ever played and probably ever will play,” Laux said.
The win wasn’t only memorable for Laux but the entire team. Defeating the Knights boosts the Gusties higher in the MIAC and just a step closer to Nationals.
“When we won one of my teammates said we hadn’t beaten that team in four years and we scrimmaged them last year and actually lost 4-5, so it was kinda revenge almost and last year we obviously didn’t finish how we wanted to do this was a good start in the right direction of hopefully winning a MIAC championship this year with the great team that we have,” Laux said.