Duhawks take flight: A, B, C in IIAC Tournament

womens-tennis
photo courtesy of Jessica Dickhut

The women’s tennis team wrapped up their fall season this past weekend with the individual IIAC conference tournament in Waterloo, IA. The entire women’s team competed in various flights– A, B, or C– in both singles and doubles.

With no back draw, once a player loses, she is out of the tournament. The tournament began early on Friday morning with the start of singles.

The Duhawks struggled early in the tournament. In the A-flight singles, both seniors Jessica Dickhut and Kylie DeWees fell to Coe in the first round of singles. As for the C-flight singles, first-year Casey Zavodny and junior Rachael Molidor also lost in their first round of play.  However, not all of the Duhawks faced similar adversity. In the C-flight singles, first-years McKenna Craff and Patricia Patnode and  junior Ayla Graziano all won their first round, but then fell in the second.

Sophomore Emma Cooke was the only Duhawk to qualify for singles play on Saturday in the B-flight. Cooke defeated Buena Vista, Luther and Central in her first three rounds of singles on Friday. These wins brought her to the semi-finals which were played on Saturday.

In the final two rounds of the tournament, Cooke defeated Luther to advance to the finals. Unfortunately, she lost to Albino from the University of Dubuque in a third set tiebreaker. Cooke received a medal for second place in the B-flight singles.

The Duhawks experienced similar results in doubles play at the IIAC tournament.  Unlike singles, doubles play is only broken down into two flights – A and B.  All doubles teams entered the tournament in the B-flight. The doubles duo of Dickhut and DeWees were given the No. 1 seed. Being the top seed gave the doubles team a first round bye. In the first round of play, the doubles team consisting of Zavodny and Patnode lost to Central. The other three doubles pairings continued on to round two.

In this next round of doubles, the Duhawks lost another pair. Molidor and Craff lost a tough battle to Coe, knocking them out of the tournament. Only two doubles teams remained in the third round.

While Dickhut and DeWees easily cruised through their Simpson opponent, Cooke and Graziano faced a tougher obstacle. Having lost to this same Central opponent the previous weekend, Cooke and Graziano were looking for redemption.

Sadly, they did not find it, as they lost to Central 8-3.

The duo of Dickhut and DeWees was the only doubles team to advance to the semifinals and qualify for play on Saturday. After easily winning both of their matches on Friday 8-0, the No. 1 seed faced their toughest opponent yet in Luther.

An early break in the match put them up 1-0, but they eventually lost this lead. Saving six match points, Dickhut and DeWees came back to win the match 9-8 (9-7) in a tiebreaker. This win advanced them to the finals. Dickhut and DeWees made quick work of their Central opponent and won 8-2 to become the Doubles Champions.

The Duhawks ended their season 7-7 in match play and had an impressive showing at the IIAC individual tournament.

“I am extremely proud of what the women’s team accomplished this year, and I can’t wait for the spring season. This team and this program has a bright future,” said Coach Chad Fenwick.

The IIAC Individual Tournament concludes the team’s fall season. The Duhawks will begin their spring season in Feb. They qualified for the IIAC Team Conference Tournament where they will have a rematch with the University of Dubuque in April.

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