Women’s tennis dominates Rhodes College in a 9-0 sweep
Sweeping all three doubles matches and winning all six singles matches in straight sets, the Bears played one of their best matches against the Lynx for the second year in a row. Although the results show that the Lynx were no match for the Red and Green, head coach Kelly Stahlhuth felt that Rhodes presented some challenges that helped the Bears’ players improve as a whole.
“Even though Rhodes is not as tricky as DePauw, we still needed to play well in order to win,” Stahlhuth said. “We didn’t change our mentality in preparation, and they were definitely stronger than last year. We had some competitive points, and we wanted it to be somewhat of a challenge…I’m happy with what our players got.”
In doubles, none of the Bears allowed Rhodes to win more than three games. Juniors Theresa Petraskova and Corinne Rauck outplayed Rhodes’ Maggie Donoghue and Emily Rizer, 8-3, sophomore Hanna Newstadt and freshman Jamie Silverberg won, 8-2, and freshman Aly Coran and junior Betsy Edershile won, 8-2.
“We showed some good team effort today on doubles that helped us succeed,” Stahlhuth said. “We were trying to fine-tune particular shots throughout the week, and I think it paid off when we played.”
Stahlhuth hoped to see some improvements on volleys and finishes in her team’s singles matches. The Bears’ week of hard work in practice paid off as they won all six singles flights in straight sets. Coran and junior Aarthi Kasilingam showed strong performances, both winning their matches 6-1, 6-2, while Silverberg finished 6-3, 6-1, to improve her singles record to 9-1 this academic year. Senior Paige Madara also finished with a win by a score of 6-2, 6-1.
“Our volleys were really working out, and it helped us out when we needed to finish,” Stahlhuth said. “We couldn’t be happier with the [singles’] results, and I’m proud of how we responded in situations where we needed to score.”
In the first flight, Petraskova had a close first set against Rhodes’ Donoghue, closing out with a 6-4 win. Her second set was much better as she outdueled Donoghue, 6-2, and improved her first-flight singles record to 3-0. In the fifth flight, Edershile shut out the Lynx’s Elyse Smith in the first set. Even though Smith came close in the second set, Edershile responded well, beating Smith, 6-4, and helping Wash. U. record another straight-set win.
Although the Bears are pleased with their performance against Rhodes, they hope to continue building on their success as they match up against No. 12 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges next Saturday in Claremont, Calif. Stahlhuth knows that the match will be a challenge, but she believes that it’s a test her team is ready to face.
“We’ve got some adjustments that we can make throughout this week,” Stahlhuth said. “We’re going to practice as hard as we can to prepare for them. We know it’s going to be a good challenge for us, but I believe that we can deliver. It’s going to be an interesting match for sure.”