Women’s tennis places third at WIAC Championship

Tournament marks the end of the fall regular season

More stories from Luke Alex


Photo by Gabbie Henn

In this picture from staff files, Alexa Brooks, right, and Emma Barnd, left, face their opponents at the John & Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center during a meet-up with UW-Stevens Point and UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 12 and 13.

The Blugold women’s tennis team wrapped up their fall regular season over the weekend with a third place finish in the WIAC Championship tournament.

The standings in the tournament were determined using a combination of regular season rankings and individual play in the WIAC tournament. The Blugolds entered the tournament with only one loss in six regular season matches.Head Coach Thomas Gillman was pleased with the team’s third place finish despite certain players receiving tough draws determined by coin flips, he said.

“We had two coin flips to decide the third seed and the fifth seed and we lost both of them,” Gillman said. “If we won those flips we would have been in a much better position to succeed.”

Although Gillman was satisfied with the team’s performance at the tournament, he and his team are always striving for first place, he said.

“We’d love it if we could win every single match,” Gillman said. “We have the talent to win every match.”

Natalie Wijesinghe, a third-year and captain of the team, and Emily Cooper, second-year, entered the doubles tournament as the second-ranked team and advanced to the finals with wins over UW-Stevens Point 8-0 and UW-Lacrosse 8-4 but were defeated in the finals 8-5 by UW-Whitewater.

“We expected to make it to the finals and we expected to play as well as we could against Whitewater, so I’m content with that,” said Cooper.

Despite a third place finish, the Blugolds have a bright future in their No. 1 singles player Wijesinghe, who is highey ranked in the WIAC.

“Natalie had a great fall season and I’m really excited for what she can bring to the table for us moving forward.”

Not only is has Wijesinghe improved as a player, but as a leader on the team, said Gillman.

“She took a step forward with her maturity and leadership,” said Gillman. “Natalie has become a great leader for this team.”

The Blugolds advance to a team tournament that will determine which WIAC team will automatically qualify for the NCAA national tournament for Division III, which will take place next spring.

Alex can be reached at [email protected].