Spring break dominance

Both tennis teams undefeated in South Carolina

Story by Trent Tetzlaff, Staff Writer

The UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s tennis teams went 5-0 at the spring break tournament in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina last week.

Seniors Joe Meier and Ryan Vande Linde were dominant once again in doubles play for the men’s team, not dropping a single match. On the women’s side, the number one doubles pair senior Katie Gillman and junior Maddie Johnson also went 5-0 in doubles play.

Head coach Tom Gillman had nothing but positive things to say about his teams’ performances over spring break.

“I think both our men’s and women’s teams were both very passionate about their matches this past week,” Gillman said. “They came out with positive attitudes and rallied together all week.”

The men’s team was strong in both doubles and singles competition, only losing a total of six individual matches over the week and sweeping two matches as a team. Much was the same for the women’s team. Playing their first match since fall, they only dropped five individual matches throughout the entire week.

Doubles stood out once again for the men’s team thanks to strong performances from Vande Linde and Meier, Kyle Hoffman and Josh Chuba and Nathan Tretsven and Luke Zwiener.

Meier attributes the success over spring break to the tough schedule over previous weeks.

“I think the past few weekends of tough competition did a great job preparing us for our spring break matches and what was to come,” Meier said.

The women’s team was especially strong in doubles as well, thanks to play from Katie Gillman and Johnson at No. 1 doubles, and junior Maddie Rossebo and senior Mary Frassetto at No. 2 doubles. These duos didn’t drop a match the entire week.

Despite their time away from competition, the women’s team was able to take a lot in on the trip and get back into the swing of things.

“We are constantly focusing on making movement, consistency and our mental game a priority,” Frassetto said. “The team continued to work on those aspects but for the rest of the spring season improvements can still be made in those areas.”

The Blugold men faced Bloomsburg College, Messiah College and Millersville College, all of Pennsylvania. They also played Springfield College (Mass.) and Wooster College (Ohio) during the trip.

The women’s team played every one of those teams as well with the exception of Springfield College. Instead, they played the University of South Dakota-Sioux Falls.

However, the trip went beyond all of the matches, practices and work. The Blugolds took in time together and used it to get closer during the week.

“The best part about spring break was definitely bonding with our team,” Vande Linde said. “We’re already a close-knit team, but I think this whole trip strengthened our chemistry immensely.”

Although the Blugolds level of play was strong throughout the week, Gillman said he still sees some areas for improvement.

“Shot selection can always get better, and is a huge factor in match play,” he said. “Searching for better shots is something we always work on, along keep working on how we can move better on the court as well.”

The Blugold women will be in action on April 4 at St. Scholastica College (Minn.). The men’s team will travel Saturday to face Augustana College in Madison.