Eau Claire tennis brings home victories from Texas

    The women returned undefeated while the men brought back wins over spring break

    Macey VanDenMeerendonk

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    The UW-Eau Claire’s men and women’s tennis teams left the Texas tournament with plenty of victories. The four-day tournament over spring break included the men and women’s teams from LeTourneau, Texas A&M Texarkana, Concordia, Sul Ross St., Schreiner and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

    The women’s team left Texas undefeated, continuing the season at 14-1. On the first day of the tournament, the Blugolds beat both LeTourneau and Texas A&M Texarkana with a score of 8-1.

    Tom Gillman, head coach for the women’s team, said they knew they would face challenges this past week but he thought they could come away with victories.

    “I thought we could have success and I knew we would face challenges with the wind and sun and especially being tired because it was be a lot of travel,” Gillman said. “We had two days where we played two matches in a row so I knew that there was going to be some things we would have to overcome.”

    Natalie Wijesinghe, a second-year, and Sarah Henderson, a senior, started the winning streak for the Blugolds with a score of 9-7 at number one doubles. Molly Stewart, a junior, and Emily Cooper, a first-year, earned a win at number two doubles with a score of 8-2. At number three doubles, Cooper and Hannah Zevenbergen, a first-year, finished the sweep with a 9-8 win.

    Wijesinghe and Henderson finished the first day with wins in the first and second singles spot with Stewart coming out victorious in the third singles spot.

    Gillman said he was happy with the teams performance last week and said he saw improvements from the players.

    “I thought they were totally willing to take on the challenges, they were very coachable,” Gillman said. “Our doubles have shown significant progress. We have been really tough on the doubles and it really helps when you get a good start.”

    The women continued their victories on day two. They started with another 3-0 win with doubles partners Wijesinghe and Henderson in the first spot, Stewart and Cooper finishing in the second spot and Kendra Berry, a senior, and Zevenbergen carried out with sweep in the third spot.

    Wijesinghe took the first spot in singles, Henderson took a quick second spot with a 6-1, 6-2 win and Stewart finished with a win putting her in the third spot.

    The men’s team ended the week of matches continuing the season at 14-2. They started day one with a 2-1 win over LeTourneau.

    Grant Mauthe, a first-year, and Zach Janssen, a second-year, took the second doubles spot with a 8-1 win. Adam Burk, a first-year, and Renan Barros, a junior, won the number three doubles spot.

    Janssen started the sweep with a 6-1, 6-1 win, earning the first singles spot. Andrew Dahl, a senior, took the second spot, Barros in third, Mauthe fourth, Schoen in fifth and Evan Fridinger, a first-year, winning the sixth singles spot.

    Daniel Schoen, a senior, said the team was confident going into the week of matches.

    “We felt pretty good going in, we’ve played some of the teams last year so we kind of knew what we were going into,” Schoen said.

    On the second day, the men’s team defeated University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 9-0. They started in the lead 3-0 with the doubles.

    They continued the sweep taking all six singles spots ending day two 11-2.

    On the third day, the Blugolds came out victorious against Concordia 8-1. They finished 3-0 in the doubles and beat Concordia in five of the six singles matches.

    The Blugolds finished the week of matches defeating both Sul Ross St. and Schreiner 9-0.

    Gillman said he was happy to see the women’s team working hard this past week.

    “I’m really proud of the team for being willing to push themselves,” Gillman said. “I think that was the big focus this spring break and they were willing to do that and it really paid off.”

    Both Eau Claire men and women’s tennis team will be facing Luther College in Winona, Minn. on April 6.