The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

UWEC women’s tennis scrapes a close loss against Bethel Royals

Blugolds drop their season opener in the only home match of the season
Photo by Willow Pawlisch
Addy Farber and Hailey Beisel receive a serve from the Bethel Royals in a previous match.

The women’s tennis team caught a close loss of 4-5 in a match against the Bethel Royals last Friday. The Royals walked into the Eau Claire opener with two wins under their belt. 

Friday was the only home match of the season at the John and Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center. Téa Armstrong, a third-year player, credits her win in the No. 3 doubles match with partner Samantha Fuchs to the large community turn out.

“It was nice to have all the spectators and our friends and family come support us and cheer us on,” Armstrong said. “That definitely helped Sam and I pull off the win, and our teammates are also very supportive. We have a great bond and I love our team.” 

The night started with only one point to the Blugolds in the doubles round, but the singles round helped make up the bulk of their score. Armstrong pulled a win in singles match No. 6 alongside Sydney Presler winning her match at No. 4 and Liv Herzog taking the match at No. 5. 

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“I’m feeling good,” Armstrong said. “It was my first time playing doubles in the lineup. And it was really fun. I really like my partner, Sam. It was our first match of the season so it was a little shaky but we pulled off the win”

Head coach Ken Cychosz said the early season is still a fluid time for the team, but he felt confident in the singles round.

“We had a really good fall in the conference season,” Cychosz said. “We lost one player due to graduation, so we’re trying to figure out our doubles lineup. Our singles lineup is pretty set, we’re just trying to figure out how to play together right now.”

This is Cychosz’s second season coaching the team. He pointed out the newness of the team as something to look forward to instead of a weakness.

“It’s an evolving group,” Cychosz said. “It’s a little bit younger than it has been in the past. We’ve had a lot of seniors before but we don’t really have any right now. We’re going to grow into ourselves this spring. I’m excited.”

Addy Farber is one of seven first-year players on the team. She said her favorite part of being on the team is the culture.

“We all get along so well,” Farber said. “It’s always fun no matter what. Just being a new player on the team it’s been really welcoming. It’s been a really good experience — we hang out all the time.”

The close-knit team spends lots of time together as tennis covers a fall and spring season. Players said the defining trait of the team is the supportive environment between the players, and the coach agrees. 

“Sometimes it’s not how good of tennis you play, it’s whether you get a good feel from the group,” Cychosz said. “This is a really fun group. They all get along. They all love to play tennis. It’s a really good group of students.” 

The coach is looking forward to the rest of the season and moving forwards with developing the team. He said he sees a “pretty positive” spring moving forward. The team looks forward to spending more time bonding and getting back on the court together. 

“I like being with the girls all the time. We spent a lot of time over the winter practicing so it’s nice to be out playing matches again,” Farber said. “Everyone is so welcoming, joining is one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

The Blugolds have their next match against the Carleton Knights at 1 p.m. at the Rochester Tennis Connection in Rochester, Minnesota on Saturday, Feb. 24.  

Pawlisch can be reached at [email protected].

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