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Blugold Tennis keeps the hot streak rolling over the weekend

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Henry Erickson

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Men’s and women’s tennis secured large victories in this past weekend’s match up.

The+UW-Eau+Claire+men%27s+and+women%27s+tennis+teams+a+had+successful+weekend+against+Macalester+%28Minn.%29.+
The UW-Eau Claire men's and women's tennis teams a had successful weekend against Macalester (Minn.).

The UW-Eau Claire men's and women's tennis teams a had successful weekend against Macalester (Minn.).

Kar Wei Cheng

Kar Wei Cheng

The UW-Eau Claire men's and women's tennis teams a had successful weekend against Macalester (Minn.).

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The first match of the spring season for the Blugold women’s tennis team was “nerve-wracking” said Natalie Wijesinghe, second-year. This was not apparent as the team put on an outstanding performance this past Sunday at the Eau Claire YMCA.

The team won with a dominant 9-0 sweep over a strong Macalester (Minn.) tennis team.

Wijesinghe recorded a No. 1 singles win with a 6-1, 6-1 victory that led the team. Sarah Henderson, senior, grabbed a win at number two singles 6-3, 6-3. Singles play stayed hot as Kendra Berry, junior, Emily Cooper, first-year and Hanna Zevenbergen, second-year, won third, fourth and fifth singles, respectively.

Doubles play would follow suit as the team of Wijesinghe and Henderson won number one doubles 8-3. Not wanting to give up the sweep, the team of Cooper and Zevenbergen won big with an 8-2 victory.

Wijesinghe said the team has been putting in a lot of work in the off-season and really pushing each other in practices. She said they felt prepared for the match because of what they had been doing since the time of their last match back in October.

“We all had to ease our way into the matches a little bit,” Wijesinghe said. “It ended up being routine once we got into it.”

Henderson had some of the same words for the match. She said the first match of the season can be rusty, but they were able to persevere over that and win.

“A lot of us had a slow start,” Henderson said. “As the match went on we were able to get up to where we wanted to be.”

Both Henderson and Wijesinghe attributed the team’s success to the focus on practice and teamwork. Henderson said the team is always aiming to achieve certain goals which helps them prepare for matches after the long break.

The men’s team was able to celebrate with the women’s team as they came away with a 6-3 victory against Macalester.

Tom Gillman, head coach, said the experienced players did a nice job taking their time and working through the matches. He also credited the younger players for their performance.

“Our veterans came through in the end in singles,” Gillman said. “The young guys are finding their way as well.”

The No. 1 doubles team of Andrew Dahl, junior, and Daniel Schoen, second-year, worked well together as they were able to pull out a close victory winning 8-5. The number two doubles team of Zach Janssen, second-year, and Grant Mauthe, first-year, secured an 8-3 victory.

Singles play was also able to contribute by winning the two and five slots slots which gave the Blugolds the overall victory over Macalester.

The success of both men’s and women’s teams is apparent. Gillman said the teams have been able to pull out close matches and are a very competitive team.

“I think our players are giving good effort, which is the most important thing,” Gillman said.

The next scheduled tournament is the USTA tournament taking place at the Eau Claire YMCA March 9-11. It is an individual entry tournament, so only the members of the men’s team will be competing, as well as Wijesinghe who is participating in the mixed doubles section.

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Blugold Tennis keeps the hot streak rolling over the weekend