Women’s tennis gets 2nd place at Midwest Invitational
A 5-4 upset win over No. 10 DePauw University highlighted a successful weekend for the No. 13 Washington University women’s tennis team in Madison, Wis., at the Midwest Invitational. Facing off with four ranked teams, the Bears managed to win three—all with a score of 5-4, against No. 22 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, No. 17 Denison University and No. 10 DePauw—while dropping a 5-0 match to No. 6 University of Chicago.
“I think we were all really happy with the way it turned out,” captain and senior Natalie Tingir said on the weekend. “I don’t think we’ve got second place before at this tournament. We played well—we had some people out with injuries for a bit, so it’s nice that we were able to figure out a way to win even with some people down.”
In the match against DePauw, the Bears had the benefit of a strong start in doubles as the No. 2 pairing of Tingir and sophomore Theresa Petraskova and the No. 3 pair of junior Paige Madara and sophomore Betsy Edershile both won their respective matches 8-6.
Needing a split in singles to secure the match, the Bears got exactly that. Tingir (7-5, 6-2 at No. 1 singles) and Petraskova (7-6(5), 6-2 at No. 3 singles) came through again while junior Kate Klein bounced back from a defeat in doubles to take No. 2 singles (6-4, 6-2) and help the Bears clinch the match 5-4.
“They played probably the best doubles of the weekend in that DePauw match,” head coach Kelly Stahlhuth said. “And that was really, really positive to see.”
The win came in a rematch of a contest from a month earlier; on March 4, DePauw bested Wash. U. 7-2.
“We had played two matches a day for two days straight, so that was our fourth match, and we were absolutely exhausted,” Tingir said. “It was really great that we were able to hang in there and be tough and pull it out anyway.”
That match came on the heels of a tough contest against Chicago, in which the Bears lost all three doubles matches 8-4 and left four singles matches unfinished after Klein and Edershile dropped No. 2 and No. 5 singles, respectively.
Chicago, whom the Bears will play against this upcoming Sunday as well, has always given Wash. U. some problems on the court.
“What’s solid about Chicago is their depth. They had everyone there. No one was injured, and that’s what made them strong,” Stahlhuth said. “We play them in a week. In doubles, we lost 8-4, so we did pretty well. If you just take two of those games and win them, it’s 6-all. So we weren’t getting smoked in doubles, but we need to pick it up.”
Two more close matches went the Bears’ way on Friday. Wash. U. opened up competition for the weekend with a win over Whitewater, despite trailing 2-1 after doubles. Tingir took top singles (6-3, 6-5), Klein and Madara won No. 3 and No. 4 singles, and sophomore Corinne Rauck’s come-from-behind three-set win at No. 6 singles (2-6, 7-6(6-2), 1-0 (10-7)) gave a win to the Bears.
“It was definitely nerve-racking at first, but we do have some pretty strong singles players,” Tingir said. “We worked hard and we were able to pull [the win] out.”
In Friday’s late match against Denison, the Bears again got off to a good start in doubles thanks to Tingir/Petraskova and Edershile/Madara—both pairs took their matches 8-5. The two teams both took three matches each in singles, with Rauck again taking No. 6 singles (6-4, 7-5) to help clinch the match.
Dating back to its spring-break trip to California, the Red and Green have faced nine-straight ranked opponents (not including a canceled match against the University of Missouri-St. Louis earlier last week) and have beaten seven of them. All of the wins except one have been 5-4 final scores.
“I think a lot of that comes down to heart. We have really done a good job of coming together and digging down deep and being able to play well in the toughest moments and just play our best,” Tingir said. “And I think having a 6-0 record for 5-4 matches speaks a lot to that.”
Wash. U. will face off with McKendree University on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at home.