Women’s tennis finishes fourth at ITA Invitational
From Friday through Sunday, the No. 14 Washington University women’s tennis team competed in the 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Championship in Greencastle, Ind. Although the Bears had a good start to the season, they faced three highly ranked teams at the championship, winning against No. 6 Denison University and losing to both No. 13 Carnegie Mellon University and No. 16 DePauw University, bringing their record on the season to 2-2.
Wash. U. started out strong on Friday, beating Denison 6-3. However, the Bears were shut down by Carnegie, losing 9-0. Wash. U. made an effort to finish on a strong note against DePauw but fell short once again, losing 7-2.
“We really played some very tough teams,” head coach Kelly Stahlhuth said. “It wasn’t an easy tournament, but we feel lucky to have been invited and I know we played hard overall.”
On the first day of the tournament, the Bears found success against Denison as sophomore Theresa Petraskova won the first singles match, beating her opponent in two sets, 7-6 and 6-3. Junior Kate Klein played three sets, winning 6-3, 6-7, 6-2. Sophomore Betsy Edershile got off to a slow start in her match with a 6-3 loss in the first set but redeemed herself by winning the match with victories in the second and third sets, 7-6 and 7-5, respectively. Freshman Hanna Newstadt won her first set 7-5 and shut down her opponent 6-0 in the second.
The Bears also won two doubles matches as Klein and Petraskova teamed up to win in a close match of 9-8. Junior Paige Madara and Newstadt won 8-5.
“I think as a team, we really helped each other out,” Stahlhuth said. “We worked hard all week to prepare against teams like Denison, and it definitely paid off.”
Wash. U. could not capture the same success against Carnegie Mellon, however. Senior Natalie Tingir got off to a slow start in her singles match, losing the first set 6-2. She came back to win her second set 7-6 but couldn’t finish strong, losing her third set 6-2. Madara and sophomore Corinne Rauck fought hard against the opponent, trying to keep the score close. In the end, they fell short as well, losing 8-5.
“Carnegie’s got some new players that we haven’t seen before and they’re just really good,” Stahlhuth said. “We know we can play with better execution. We need to tweak a few things in doubles and our serve returns.”
The Bears came out sharper and more aggressive against DePauw on Sunday. Despite their valiant efforts, they mustered only one victory in singles as Newstadt won without much trouble in two sets, 6-1 and 6-2. Newstadt helped the Bears to another victory as she and Rauck teamed up in doubles to defeat their opponent 8-2. Sophomore Evelyn Qin and Edershile came close in their doubles matchup but lost in the end, 8-5.
“We need to sleep on it and figure out what happened,” Stahlhuth said. “We did better in doubles, and I liked our aggressiveness. I think we need to come right out of the gate and be ready to play, and we’ll get better as the season continues.”
The team looks forward to rebounding from two consecutive losses as it faces Division II Ferris State University at home on Tuesday.
“We’re going to try to figure out what we can do better,” Stahlhuth said. “We’ll continue to work hard, and hopefully we can shake off those two losses on Tuesday.”