Gustie tennis shines in Fargo

Parker BurmanStaff Writer

The Gustavus women’s tennis team traveled north to Fargo, North Dakota for a MIAC match-up against rival Concordia. Once all the matches had concluded the Gusties headed home with a 9-0 victory over the Cobbers. The Gusties came away with two set victories in each of their singles matches which propelled them to their fourth victory of the season.

“It was a great match today against Concordia, we brought great energy. It was one of those tricky matches where we were favored going in, but if we didn’t play our best tennis it could’ve gotten really exciting. And we did a good job keeping it from getting too exciting,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said.

The singles performance was dominant as all six Gustie women went undefeated on the day. First-years Molly Austin and Pavla Yakimova lead the way for the Gusties as both went 6-1 6-0 in their singles matches. Senior Renata Hernandez also showed off her high skill level going 6-1 6-1 in her sets.

“One big takeaway has been that it is all about the team – when you go out there and play your match, you play for more than yourself. You shouldn’t get too fixated on yourself – keep cheering on teammates that are playing around you,” Yakimova said.

Even though it wasn’t at GAC we did a really good job cheering each other on the court which helped with the atmosphere,” Austin said.

In addition to these already strong performances, Senior Yuki Oda went 6-0 6-3 to hold on to her individual victory. Junior Alli Laux defeated yet another Cobber going 6-1 6-2, while Sophomore Brooke Haddorff went 6-2 6-4 in her sets.

“I think I performed pretty well in my singles match. I played smart tennis and didn’t have any double faults, which is every tennis player’s dream. I also thought I played well in doubles, especially at the net with my volleys,” Laux said. 

“Yuki and other upperclassmen have done a great job of being positive leaders for all of us and creating a positive environment for the whole team,” Austin said.

The doubles matches went just as well for the Gusties as the Cobbers were still no match for their high level of skill and talent. With pairings of Oda/Austin, Laux/Hernandez, and Yakimova/Hadorff, the Gusties were well set up to win.

“In my singles, I tried my best to reduce my mistakes and I think I did well. The doubles match was a lot of fun. It was my first time playing a real match with Brooke, and I think we balanced each other well and really enjoyed playing together,” Yakimova said.

In their first doubles match the pairing of Oda/Austin showed the chemistry between the veteran and the rookie on their way to an 8-2 win. Yakimova and Hadorff played just as well in their first match as teammates as they also managed to take the 8-2 victory over Concordia. Laux and Hernandez in their match were even more dominant than the rest of their teammates, as they went undefeated for the 8-0 match win.

“My goal of the season is to soak up every new experience and to learn and improve from losses as much as I can. Our goal as a team is to win our conference, go deep into playoffs, and hopefully progress beyond that,” Yakimova said.

“It was very exciting to win 8-0 with my partner Renata because it shows we stayed focused throughout the match and played super well. We had a couple of deuce games in that match, but we were able to win all of them,” Laux said. 

As an upperclassman, I have been very impressed with the talent of my first-year teammates. Our team has a lot of depth and I am excited to see them grow as players in the next few years,” Laux said. 

The Gusties will get a chance for a breather heading into Spring Break but will be right back into the action starting on April 1st against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. They will have three matches in the first three days of April as the season continues to chug along.

I’m really proud of the team and we’re looking forward to Spring Break,” Coach Carlson said.