UW-Eau Claire tennis team serves up competition

    UW-Eau Claire’s women’s tennis team comes away with one win and one loss after a weekend of play

    More stories from Kaitlyn Zenner


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    The Blugolds defeated UW- La Crosse 7-2 this past Saturday, Oct. 5.

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s tennis team faced the NCAA Division II Winona State Warriors and UW-La Crosse at the YMCA Menard’s Tennis Center this past Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5. 

    On Friday, the Blugolds were defeated by Winona State with a final score of 7-2. Despite the initial loss, the women’s tennis team was able to come back on Saturday and defeat UW-La Crosse in a 7-2 win. 

    In the Blugolds’ match against the Warriors, fourth-year athlete Natalie Wijesinghe had the only win of any singles player. She was able to take down her opponent 6-4 and 6-3. Wijesinghe then went on to win her match Saturday against UW- La Crosse 6-3, 6-2. 

    Second-year doubles player Kennedy Rusk thought the team played really well, despite the loss on Friday. She said high-level competition such as Winona State would only serve to help the team prepare for tough games later in the season.  

    “We competed really hard as a team against La Crosse,” Rusk said. “That was probably our biggest match this season. And then on Friday we played Winona, we competed hard. They’re a really strong team this year, so it’s good for us to get good competition, which can prepare us for our WIAC tournament coming up next week.” 

    The rest of the women’s tennis team found similar success against UW-La Crosse. The Blugolds were able to pull out a win in each match except for one singles and one doubles match. UW-Eau Claire had a doubles team consisting of second-year athlete Alexa Brooks and second-year Emma Barnd defeat their UW-La Crosse opponent. The duo won their doubles match 8-1. 

    Throughout the weekend, second-year doubles player Natalie Girard said she saw positives within the team’s play and thought their overall attitude was most important when it came to defeating their opponent. 

    “I thought we all communicated really well, and our team always has a great atmosphere together,” Girard said. “No matter what happens, we’re always trying to stay positive and come together to win.” 

    Despite the win against UW-La Crosse, Rusk still thought that the team could improve on their focus in order to bring the highest level of competition to the court at all times. She also said that trying to create a positive team atmosphere was important for matches. 

    “I think this year, we’re really trying to focus on how when we get on the court, we’re focused on our match without other distractions,” Rusk said. “We’re trying to improve on supporting each other on and off the court, creating a really good team atmosphere, and just bringing some good competition to each match.”

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s tennis team looks ahead to take on their next opponent, UW-Stevens Point, in an away match at 3 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 11. 

    Zenner can be reached at [email protected].