The women’s tennis team competed in the IIAC Tournament this past weekend hosted by Coe College and saw success from not only the upperclassmen, but from some talented underclassmen as well.
Sophomore Tara Shingler and junior Jessica Dickhut had promising victories in Friday’s preliminary matches and went on to play in the finals on Saturday. Shingler received her first win against Greta Nelson of Wartburg, in a convincing 8-4 win, and moved on to face Kirstin Jordan of Central. She dominated the match achieving an 8-1 victory.
Shingler continued her success making it all the way to the C Flight Singles Championship. In the championship she was defeated by Marissa Jones of University of Dubuque. Nevertheless, she put up a solid performance, proving that she has a lot to give the women’s program in the coming years.
Dickhut proved herself a worthy conference opponent as well, taking down competition in her path along the way to the B Flight Singles Championship. After a first round bye, Dickhut beat Laura Gibson of Coe with a solid score of 6-2, 6-2. She went on to impress further in her match against Megan Bradley of Simpson, defeating her 6-1, 6-1.
Dickhut carried her dominance to the Championship match, where she was defeated by Claire Christian, but showed a strong skillset that will only develop greater as she moves towards the spring season.
The Duhawk women saw success from underclassmen Emma Cooke and Sam Pietruszynski as well, proving that the young team has promising potential to be a fierce competitor in the IIAC Conference in the coming years. Cooke took her first match with a 6-0, 6-0 win after a first round bye, dominating her competition. Pietruszynski turned some heads as well, winning her first four matches 8-1, 8-0, 8-5, and 8-4: an impressive performance from the sophomore.
In doubles play, the duo of Emma Cooke and Jessica Dickhut powered through competition beating doubles teams from the University of Dubuque and Wartburg. In the B Doubles Final they were defeated by Luther’s doubles team, but worked well together and made advances in their cooperation.
The young team put together a solid performance at the IIAC Tournament, performing “about as expected” according to Coach Fenwick. At the beginning of the season, Fenwick had noted that their “main competition was Central and Wartburg”, and when it came to matches against opponents from those teams, the team won almost every single matchup.
Members of the team went so far as to defeat players of other conference powerhouse teams: Luther and Coe. The wins further validated the team as a growing threat, and Coach Fenwick looks forward to “building from here.”
The rebuilding that the team went through during the regular season prepared them for the IIAC Tournament, and it was clearly evident. The experience that the team gained in previous matches had members of the women’s team performing at their peak, and it couldn’t have come at any better time of the season.
The Loras women made a solid mark in IIAC conference play, and cemented themselves as a growing threat to conference competitors with their impressive showing.