It’s tournament time for women’s tennis team

The Duhawks finished out their 2014-15 regular season slate on Sunday, earning a split at home against Augustana and St. Ambrose. While the Duhawks found themselves at the wrong end of a 9-0 sweep at the hands of Augustana in the morning action, Loras had plenty to celebrate at the end of the day.

With a 5-4 victory on Sunday afternoon, the Duhawks notched their first win over St. Ambrose in the last decade, and head coach Karl Stubben’s first against the Bees in his time at the helm for Loras.

“It feels amazing,” Stubben said. “We’ve been so close, so many times, for so many years. It’s nice to get across the finish line on this one.”

The Dickhut sisters led the way to the Duhawk victory, with senior Elizabeth defeating St. Ambrose’s Griffin Rasche (6-3, 6-2), and sophomore Jessica toppling Sam Rochkus (0-6, 6-1, 15-13) in their singles matches. The Dickhuts also claimed victory in their No. 1 doubles match, defeating Allie Deroo and Emily Daniels by a score of 8-1.

“St. Ambrose is a scholarship granting program,” Stubben said, “So getting anything off of them is an achievement, let alone a team victory. It’s a huge step forward.”

The Duhawks (7-9, 3-4 IIAC) will look to carry their momentum into the Iowa Conference Tournament this weekend in Cedar Rapids. They’ll take on Central (10-7, 4-3 IIAC) on Friday, and Coe (19-6, 7-0 IIAC) on Saturday.

“The seniors are realizing that the end is near, and the others are rallying around that,” said Stubben. “I expect a better performance than the one we had against Central in the fall. I think we’re a little tougher now, more resilient. If we’re indeed good enough to beat them, we’ll do it.”

The Duhawks fell to Central and Coe by a combined score of 16-2 earlier this season.

“It’s difficult to physically prepare for a squad (Coe) that accomplished and deep,” Stubben said. “But we know what to concentrate on, and that’s to be both as physically relaxed and mentally dialed in as possible.  If we’re ready, willing, and able to play our best, most aggressive tennis of the year, we can create opportunities. That’s what we want and what we’re ready to get.”

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