Women’s tennis: Bears cap off regular season with victory over Coe College

| Sports Reporter

Sophomore Kristen George hits a backhand against Webster University. George won her fifth singles match 6-1. 6-1.

The No. 14 Washington University women’s tennis team completed the regular season with an 8-1 victory over No. 26 Coe College on Saturday to end the season by winning nine out of its last 10 matches to finish with an 11-4 overall record.

The Bears had defeated the Kohawks, 7-2, just one week ago at the Midwest Invitational in Madison, Wis. This time around, the Red and Green did not drop a set in singles, as freshman Kate Klein (7-5, 6-1), junior Karina Kocemba (7-6 (3), 6-1), junior Jaclyn Bild (6-0, 6-1), sophomore Natalie Tingir (6-0, 6-1) and junior Kalee Cassady (6-0, 6-1) all won in straight sets, with captain Allison Dender winning by default.

“We’ve been working hard on the singles and trying to play two strong sets,” Head Coach Kelly Stahlhuth said. “And it helps life a lot, that’s for darn sure, that we all played solid.”

Wash. U. also picked up two out of three doubles matches to give the team an edge heading into singles play. Tingir and Dender defeated Sara Ohlman and Natalie Bordignon, 8-1.

“[Dender] is really aggressive at the net, and I am more comfortable usually hitting around at the baseline,” Tingir said. “When one of us is down, the other one picks up, or we’re both up at the same time, and it really works out.”

Cassady and Bild picked up the other win, awarded by default.

With the regular season over, the Bears have their sights set on next weekend, April 16-18, when they head to the University Athletic Association Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. Stahlhuth believes that the Bears, who finished fourth at the tournament last year, are ready to build on that performance this year.

“We feel like we’re ready. We feel like we’re fit,” Stahlhuth said. “I think they are ready and excited for UAAs.”

Tingir also expressed faith in the team’s ability to be successful next week.

“We figured out what we need to work on, so we’re doing a lot of stuff in terms of doubles in practice,” Tingir said. “I think we are pretty confident heading into the UAAs.”

Despite the confidence, two out of the eight teams in the conference are ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association top five.

“There will be tough competition,” Dender said, “but I think our past matches and obviously a lot of practices have prepared us well, so we’ll fare well against a lot of the top-10 teams in the country.”

With additional reporting by Alex Dropkin

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