The women’s tennis team, after a tough yet proving week of competition, are looking forward to a couple of conference matchups against Buena Vista and Wartburg.
The conference matches will give the program “a good idea of where we are,” says Fenwick. Last year, the women downed Buena Vista fairly easily, taking away a 7-2 win on the day. The team hopes to see the same results this year, if not better, from the young yet vastly improved team.
Fenwick says the competition outside of the conference has helped the women “build more match toughness,” and in turn gotten them ready for the conference teams who have put a target on the Loras program’s back.
After last year’s defeat, there is no doubt the Buena Vista team is looking for revenge, but the Loras women are ready to overtake Buena Vista and punch their card as a valid contender in the IIAC. The Beavers currently sit last in the conference, with an 0-5 record in the IIAC, leaving them desperate for a win as they come to Loras to face a battle-tested team.
The competition against Wartburg on Oct. 6 will prove to be a true test for the team, as they fell to Wartburg 6-3 last season, and 7-2 the year before. The pattern suggests Loras is slowly creeping up on Wartburg.
“Central and Wartburg are our biggest competitors,” Fenwick said. A win over Wartburg would be a massive confidence-booster to the team, especially considering the history the two teams have in competition. Wartburg sits at 2-1 in the IIAC, and 3-3 overall, as it pursues an IIAC AQ Tournament berth with Loras standing in its way. The Duhawks want to prove that while they’re young, they’re still a force to be reckoned with.
The Duhawks are on the outside looking in when it comes to conference standings, currently sitting at 1-4 in the IIAC, and 1-7 overall. Loras’ one win came over cross-town rival University of Dubuque, who currently sits in a tie for last with Buena Vista waiting on their first win. For Loras to climb the conference rankings and finish the season strong, they will have to take down both Buena Vista and Wartburg to prove that they have some leverage in the conference. This season may not be about finishing top of the conference, but it is key for the development and rebuilding of a promising program.
Coach Fenwick looks forward to “molding the team into what I want them to be competitively,” and it shouldn’t be long before we start hearing positive results from a team of dedicated athletes.