Tennis teams split

Women win 6-3, men lose by same score

Story by Trent Tetzlaff, Staff Writer

The UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s tennis teams hit the road last weekend looking to keep their strong seasons afloat, but they faced a challenge at Luther College (Iowa).

On Friday against Luther in Winona, Minn., the women’s team picked up a 6-3 victory thanks to a sweep in doubles play and three wins in singles matches.

On the men’s side, the Blugolds fell 6-3 after losing two out of three doubles matches and struggling in singles.

Head coach Tom Gillman said he liked what he saw out of the men’s team despite the loss, but what he saw out of the women’s team was a lot of coasting, which he said can’t happen.

“I was more pleased with the guys than the girls even though they had different outcomes,” he said. “The girls basically just coasted along where as the guys finished strongly, the way I always want us to on the court.”

The women’s doubles team of senior Mary Frassetto and junior Madison Rossebo dropped the fewest number of games as they won 8-3 at No. 2 doubles thanks to strong movement and communication.

Frassetto said what the pair can really attribute to their success this year is the ability to work together and stay hungry to achieve the goals they set early in the year.

“The fact that we all cooperate well together and want to achieve the same goals, regardless of who we play with, has made our doubles teams so strong,” Frassetto said.

Senior Katie Gillman was also able to keep up her strong play at No. 1 singles this weekend, losing just one game, winning 6-0, 6-1. She has now won five singles matches in a row dating back to mid-March.

Junior Maddie Johnson, like coach Gillman, said she still sees a lot of room for improvement for the team as they move on.

“I think we can still work on staying focused every point,” she said. “Tennis is a sport that is mentally tough and exhausting at times. It’s easy to lose focus and think about the score or what is going wrong.”

On the flip side, for the men, Vande Linde won at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-2, while freshman Conrad Felten came from behind to win 6-7, 6-1, 10-3 at No. 6 singles.

In doubles, seniors Joe Meier and Vande Linde once again were victorious due to a back and forth 8-6 victory at No. 1 doubles. The pair has now won three straight and nine out of their last ten matches.

Meier said he attributes Vande Linde and his doubles success this season to two big things.

“First of all, we never give up during a point, game or match and our opponents know that,” he said.  “Along with this we have great teamwork and problem solving skills, most doubles teams don’t get along like we do on and off the court.”

With the loss, the Eau Claire men drop to 12-7 on the season, and the women improve to 13-3.

The Blugolds were supposed to be back home Thursday in a rescheduled match against the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) but it was canceled due to predicted poor weather.

Although, both teams will still play this weekend despite the cancellation. The women play on Friday at home against UW-River Falls while the men will be at UW-La Crosse for three matches over two days to wrap up the regular season.

“All we can do is keep competing,” Meier said. “Nobody rolled over in our past matches and that shows that improvement is still occurring and will show soon.”