Women’s tennis sweeps weekend matches in the Cities

As the game clock expired and the score showed 74-67, with the University of Chicago on top, the Eau Claire men's basketball 2000-01 season came to a halt. The Blugolds had won the WIAC tournament and advanced into the NCAA Div. III Tournament on a 19-10 record.

Emily Gresbrink

Women's tennis

The women’s tennis team traveled to Minnesota on March 31 to defeat St. Kate’s (Minn.) in a perfect 9-0 match and then turned around to a second victory (7-2) against Bethel University (Minn.).

Assistant coach Randy Anderson traveled with the women to the Twin Cities and reported to head coach Tom Gillman, bringing back good news.

“I think it was a tremendous weekend — it was great that were able to get off the bus and get a really good start,” Gillman said. “It sounded like since we got such a good start it was kind of unsettling to the opponents and that momentum carried on.”

Freshman Maddie Johnson played with strength against St. Kate’s in singles, losing the fewest games for any Blugold in the No. 4 singles spot.

The team won all three doubles and all six singles matches during their play at the Baseline Tennis Center.

Sophomore Katie Gillman said the team did not waver during their time playing the Wildcats.

“St. Kate’s has improved since last year and we were still ready to play,” she said. “We played very hard and very well in each match.”

Junior Taylor Heltne had similar remarks, saying all of the women were on top of their game during the sweep against the Wildcats and when they headed to Bethel to play.

“It was good to see everyone playing well today,” she said. “We didn’t let it go downhill when we played Bethel, and we kept it together.”

Against Bethel, the Blugolds won all three doubles matches and four out of the six singles matches.

Heltne and Katie Gillman teamed up twice during the day for doubles matches, winning both times. Katie Gillman said that even though it was victorious, their first doubles match got off to a slow start.

“Our first match (at St. Kate’s) was fine, we were doing okay,” she said.”We were not playing with our A-game. We did end up getting it together at the end (for Bethel), though.”

The result for Heltne and Gillman’s A-game was an 8-0 at win for No. 1 doubles.

Throughout a day of success, the team still had their difficulties.

Sophomore Lexi DeMario said overall, it should have been easier to beat Bethel, but the change in location was a big factor.

“Our second match was outside,” she said. “It was windy and it was cold, so it took us a little while to adjust to the weather.”

Tom Gillman said another small hiccup on Saturday was the change in lineup at Bethel, when junior Gretchen Bachmeier stepped out of the lineup due to an injury problem.

“But that is positive in the sense that it gives everyone a chance to play and to handle the challenges of a game,” he said.

The matches from the weekend put the Blugolds at 13-5 on the season.

Next week, the women will travel to St. Scholastica (Minn.) to face what Katie Gillman said will be a good match.

“I think we’re all really excited because we lost 4-5 to them, so it was very close,” she said. “But we’ve gotten better since last year in all the spots, and I think we will win. I’m excited to go up there to their home game and kick their butts — but we’ll see how it turns out.”

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