Dominance becomes staple of women’s tennis team

The UW-Eau Claire women’s tennis team notched two more tallies in the victory column this past weekend as the team captured wins at UW-Oshkosh, and UW-Stevens Point.

 The wins improved the Blugolds overall record to 6-2 and to 4-1 in conference play.

 Head coach Tom Gillman said his team competed great this past weekend verse two tough opponents in Stevens Point and Oshkosh.

 “This was one of my most satisfying weekends I’ve had as a coach,” Gillman said.

“We were up against it, playing on tough surfaces as we did and such, but by the look of the scores you can tell we fought hard.”

 Sophomore Paige Kuepers said the playing surfaces at Stevens Point were difficult to get used to, but that her and her teammates came out and played their game.

 Kuepers dropped only two games in her match at Stevens Point. She won with scores of 6-0 and 6-2. For Kuepers, it was her first time being slotted into the No. 6 spot, and she was happy to help her team secure the victory.

 “It was an overall good match for me,” Kuepers said. “It felt good to get into the starting lineup.”

 Kuepers also teamed up with junior Renee Nelson as the duo picked up an 8-3 victory in doubles play.

 The Blugolds swept the doubles competition as all three pairs picked up victories.

Senior captain Katie Gillman lead the Blugolds as she competed in the No. 1 slot in both singles and doubles. Like Kuepers, Katie Gillman won in her singles competition as well. She defeated Stevens Point’s Rachel Brown, who Katie Gillman said was one of the top single’s competitors in the WIAC. The final scores were 6-4, 6-2 and the team won 9-0.

 Katie Gillman said she knows she needs to be on top of her game in every match, and no points will come easy to her if she doesn’t move her feet and hit good shots.

 “I have gotten into this mode that I want to dominate and not just win.” Katie Gillman said.

 Her and the Blugolds’ dominance would continue as Eau Claire went on to make quick work of Oshkosh the following day, winning the matchup 8-1. Katie Gillman dropped only one game as she played in the No. 1 spot again. Her win improved her overall record to 9-2.

 Tom Gillman, who also serves as Katie Gillman’s father besides coach, said he has embraced his daughter’s newfound mentality.

 “People who just want to win are never going to dominate,” Tom Gillman said. “People that want to be great, win decisively and because they want to be something special, they are the ones that can get on and off the court.”

 With postseason play looming, Katie Gillman said her team’s goals are to compete hard and ultimately make it to the conference championship match, where she is sure they will square off versus UW-Whitewater.

 Tom Gillman said that his team has been doing what they need to do in order to reach their goals, and that the team has improved week after week.

 “We want to keep constant pressure on our opponents, and we want to dominate.” Tom Gillman said.

 The Blugolds will be in action at home this weekend, as they will take on Winona State University tomorrow at McPhee Physical Education Center. The match will begin at 3 p.m.