Rallying a strong season

photo courtesy by Jim Naprstek/ Loras college athletics

by Connor Halbmaier

The women’s tennis season started off with two non-conference matches, against Lake Forest’s Foresters and MSOE’s Raiders. The women lost to the Foresters 6-0, but enjoyed an 8-1 victory over the Raiders. Their winning ways continued with a 7-2 victory over the St. Ambrose Bees.

Their first conference match of the season was a tough one, having to face off against Coe College, one of the top three colleges in the conference. During the Senior Day match, senior Emma Cooke secured a victory for No. 3 singles, marking her 50th career singles victory.The team  lost to Coe 8-1.

The tough matches didn’t stop with Coe. On Tuesday, Sept. 13 the women’s team faced off at home against Luther College, another one of the top three schools in the conference. Audrey Hinz and Noely Bauman secured the sole win at No. 1 doubles, bringing the overall score to 8-1 in favor of Coe.

“Audrey and Noely played well,” said Head Coach Chad Fenwick. “Their win in number one doubles was the first in many years playing against this team. Overall, we just need to continue improving and gaining more experience with shot selections.”

In the same week, the women played against Cornell College on Thursday, Sept. 13. The women lost 7-2 to Cornell. Securing the two wins for the Duhawks were Maddie Smith and Franny Roche at No. 3 doubles with a score of 8-6, and Noely Bauman at No. 4 singles, winning 6-3, 6-3.

“Everyone played very well,” said Coach Fenwick. “They played a very good team, and the match was much more competitive than the scores indicated. We just couldn’t quite get over that hump.”

It was a tough three weeks for the women’s team. So far they’ve played six matches and have an overall record of 2-4, with no conference wins. Playing against both Coe and Luther was tough, but now they will be able to focus on the University of Dubuque, Central College, and Nebraska Wesleyan. Coming up, the women have the ITA Regional at St. Peter, Minnesota on Friday, Sept. 21, and a conference match against Wartburg College at home on Tuesday, Sept. 25. It will all be conference matches from here on out, so the women will have plenty of chances to get into the conference tournament this year.

“We have a tougher schedule this year, having to face two of the top three in the conference during the first three weeks,” said Coach Fenwick. “They were tough losses, but the women all competed well, and it was good experience for our young team. We’ll keep improving and gaining ground until we secure our spot in the conference. We plan to keep on fighting until we get into the top four of the conference.”

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