Tennis team earns weekend sweep

Brian Miller

It was on Saturday afternoon that the women’s tennis team accomplished their second victory of the day and third for the weekend.

On Friday the women smashed UW-Stevens Point 8-1. The Blugolds finished undefeated in doubles. First place belonged to juniors Gina Dahl and Courtney Lynn with an 8-4 victory. They were followed by the other pair of juniors, Brenna McCormick and Erin Welch. Third place was taken by freshmen Emily Hiebl and Jackie Gillespie.

Dahl also took first place in singles. McCormick, Welch and sophomore Michelle Reinders took third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

The Blugolds didn’t stop there. They were back on the court Saturday morning to play St. Scholastica and won 5-4 in a tie-breaker.

The doubles team of Welch and McCormick took second place with a 9-8 victory, followed by Gillespie and Hiebl, who won 8-3. In singles Welch was the highest Blugold ranked in the fourth position with a 6-3, 6-2 and a 10-6 tie-break. Reinders and Lynne took fifth and sixth position, respectively.

Later on that afternoon, not even the cool breeze was able to stop the Blugolds from keeping from heating their results as they fired up great matches against Bethel University.

Coach Craig Monson said that he had intentionally scheduled this weekend with two games in one day to build the endurance of the team. The women kept their focus and stepped up to the challenge; this earned them a 9-0 victory.

Doubles were played first and all four matches had a great start as the women kept the lead from the beginning.

The pair of Dahl and Lynne who lost to Scholastica, bounced back and earned first place against Bethel with a 8-5 victory. McCormick and Welch were second, followed by Gillespie and Hiebl with scores of 8-2 and 8-1, respectively.

Freshman Emily Knudson said the team works on their double games a lot and that communication between each couple is key when it’s time to play.

“You can’t have a good doubles team without communication,” she said.

Knudson said that she likes to play different teams and that it helps her gain knowledge out of them.

“Each match you learn something new to work on,” she said.

McCormick said that she was used to only playing singles in high school and that she first started playing doubles when she came to Eau Claire.

“I actually like playing doubles,” she said. “There’s not as much pressure.”

Dahl, who also played only singles in high school, agreed and said singles is her favorite but that she also likes to play doubles.

“That’s the thing I like about university tennis,” she said, referring to playing both doubles and singles.

All six singles matches were won by the Blugolds in straight sets. Dahl took first place with a 6-2, 6-1, followed by Born, McCormick, Welch, Reinders and Gillespie at the sixth position.

Knudson and Dahl both agreed it was a very successful weekend with all their victories.

Now the women hold an overall record of 10-5-1 and have moved up to a record of 6-3 in dual meets, remaining undefeated in home matches.

Dahl said the team is ready to hold on to second place and to take on the challenges the rest of the season might bring.

“We are off to a good start,” she said. “We are working very hard.”