Blugolds tennis back in the swing of things

Eau Claire picks up first two wins of season

The UW-Eau Claire women’s tennis team has stressed all season long about being tough both mentally and physically since the first few practices. This weekend, the team was able to display not only the physical tools but the mental tools as well.

Head coach Tom Gillman pointed out his team has put it on themselves to stay tough through all phases of the game this season.

“The girls have taken it upon themselves to keep focused and work on approach and movement more this season,” Gillman said. “They are able to keep strong goals and stay mentally tough as they work.”

The Blugold women were able to apply what they have worked on this past weekend as they picked up two wins in Green Bay, beating Elmhurst College (Ill.) 8-1 Friday night and St. Norbert College 7-2 later on Saturday afternoon.

In singles play, junior Paige Kuepers and freshman Sarah Henderson posted undefeated records Friday and Saturday to lead their team and set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

Kuepers came into her matches this weekend after a successful first weekend, not faltering one bit with a decisive 6-0, 6-2 victory against Elmhurst and 7-5, 6-3 victory facing St. Norbert, showing great movement to reach all shot placements. Meanwhile Henderson secured a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 5 singles on Friday and won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 on Saturday also showing great movement and court coverage.

Gillman said before the matches this weekend the girls knew they had to improve in doubles and work better together.

“Prior to our matches this weekend we reflected on our needed improvement in doubles play,” Gillman said. “We were able to move forward and work well enough together and get off to a good start to set the tone for the weekend.”


Senior Nicole Pothen said that at the beginning of the season that the biggest obstacle to overcome is getting back in the swing of things with classes, practices and matches taking up a lot of your time.

“As a team we do not have many weaknesses, but in the beginning of the season it is hard to get in the groove of things with classes and matches,” Pothen said. “We are a strong team and also a family that works together well.”

In doubles, the Blugolds were also extremely successful winning all three matches each day.

The pair of McCullough and Henderson only lost two games the entire weekend, winning 8-2 Saturday and 8-0 Friday, continuing the theme of good movement and teamwork throughout to take down their opponents.

To go along with McCullough and Henderson, the pair of seniors Maddie Johnson and Madison Rossebo at no.1 doubles was also undefeated against extremely tough competition, staying mentally tough throughout and battling to two tough victories 8-4, and 8-5.

Eau Claire is now 2-1 on the season after dropping its opening match last weekend but coming back strong this weekend.

Next Saturday, the Blugolds will compete against UW- Stout in Menomonie at 9 a.m.


“We can always work on teamwork at all times and having great communication throughout our season,” Pothen said. “We are going to work hard to come back and beat UW- Whitewater in the conference tournament and strive to be at the top.”