Women’s tennis team no longer undefeated

After strong performances in the first two weekends of competition, the UW Eau Claire women’s tennis team looked to keep up the strong play as they matched up with opponents UW-Whitewater, UW-River Falls and St. Benedict’s (Minn.) Friday and Saturday. Despite some very hard fought matches and strong individual performance,  the Blugolds came away with a 1-2 record on the weekend.

To Begin the weekend the Blugolds matched up with always tough conference opponent in UW-Whitewater. Coming into the match up with a 3-0 record on the season, the Blugolds ultimately fell 8-1 to the Warhawks. Securing the days lone victory were No. 3 doubles partners of junior Renee Nelson and sophomore Paige Kuepers with a 9-7 victory.

After a setback to start the weekend, Saturday brought better things for the Blugolds as they were able to get back on the right track with a 9-0 shutout victory over conference opponent River Falls.  They then fell to St. Benedict’s 6-3 later on in the afternoon. The victory over River Falls was the Blugolds third sweep of the young season.

Senior and No. 1 singles player Katie Gillman had a 6-1, 6-0 victory over River Falls and a 6-1, 6-0 win over St. Benedict’s to improve her record to 5-1. After her great day, Gillman said she can improve even more despite her early success.

“To become a better individual player I will be working in practice on my movement and hitting safer targets on my shots,” Katie Gillman.  “It’s important to always set goals in practice so that you stay motivated and improve your game throughout the season.”

Along with Gillman’s play, junior No. 3 singles player Mary Frassetto didn’t lose a single game Saturday, either.   In her 6-0, 6-0 win over River Falls, she came back to win 6-1 and 6-4 after losing the first set 6-4 against St. Benedict’s.  Frassetto also improved to 5-1 overall after her weekend.

“I think the fact that I was simply excited to play led me to my individual success,” Frassetto said.  “The week leading up to our matches was filled with things coach wanted us to try to implement into our games and so I was curious to see how they worked out in real life.”

In doubles play, it was once again the combo of Nelson and Kuepers that scored an 8-1 victory over River Falls.  They won a more challenging but satisfying 8-4 victory over St. Benedict’s.  Nelson and Kuepers have yet to lose a match this season and currently sit at 6-0. Eau Claire so far is 2-1 in conference play, and 4-2 overall on the season.

Head coach Tom Gillman said the team played well against River Falls but was sporadic against Whitewater and St. Benedict’s.

“We were an inconsistent team this past weekend,” Tom Gillman said. “We could not sustain our good play and need to work on that.  We need to be more disciplined as a team about positioning, movement, and the mental game.”

The Blugolds will be on the road next weekend traveling to St. Peter, Minnesota for the ITA tournament.