Women’s tennis dominates opponents over spring break

| Sports Reporter

The No. 16 Washington University women’s tennis went 5-1 over four days of play in Orlando, Fla. last weekend to improve to 8-2 on the yong season.

“It was a successful week; we had the great weather we wanted,” head coach Kelly Stahlhuth said. “We had a lot of matches, which is what we needed. It was nice to spend a week together and gain more unity.”

On Thursday, final day of competition, on March 17, the team defeated Div. I Colgate University 7-0. After sweeping doubles play, the Bears won all six singles matches in straight sets.

“Our last match against Colgate was really good,” sophomore Kate Klein said. “They are [a] D1 School, and we showed them up. We came out ready to put the pressure on and had a lot of focus too.”

Against the Raiders, freshman Theresa Petraskova and senior Elise Sambol won the No. 3 doubles match 8-5. This was Sambol’s 100th win in her career at Wash. U.; she is now 50-26 all-time in doubles and 51-25 in singles for a career-mark of 101-51.

“She has always been a solid teammate, student-athlete at Wash. U. and has always represented the team well,” Stahlhuth said. “It speaks a lot to how much she loves the program, how much she cares and how talented she is.”

The Bears also swept the University of Puget Sound 9-0 on Wednesday, but the team’s only loss of the trip came at the hands of NCAA Division I Quinnipiac University, 5-2 earlier in the day.

Wash. U. won only one doubles contest in its match against Quinnipiac, surrendering the doubles point to the Bobcats. Freshman Evelyn Qin and Sambol each picked up points for the Red and Green in singles, but the Bobcats took the four other singles matches in straight sets.

Even though the team lost, the players were happy with the experience. “Quinnipiac is [a] good, strong D1 School, [and] we were looking forward to that match,” Stahlhuth said. “They were exactly what we needed. I would have liked to have three other matches with that caliber.”

On March 16, the Bears defeated Berry College 8-1. The Bears once again swept doubles play before going on to win five of six singles matches.

“[Berry’s] top four were very strong, but then its five and six weren’t as strong, so [the level of competition wasn’t exactly] what we needed,” Stahlhuth said.

The team opened its spring break trip with victories over Oklahoma Baptist University (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on March 14, defeating Oklahoma Baptist 6-3 and UW-La Crosse 9-0.

The Bears dominated singles and doubles play against UW-La Crosse, winning all of their matches. “I was hoping University of Wisconsin La-Crosse would be a little stronger; they had two players out that couldn’t attend spring break,” Stahlhuth said.

After doubles play, the Bears led Oklahoma Baptist 2-1 and then went on to win four of the six singles tilts. Qin and fellow freshman Betsy Edershile were victorious at second doubles, while Petraskova and freshman Corinne Rauck came away with a win in the No. 3 match.

Edershile, Qin, and sophomores Paige Madara and Brittany Trimble picked up points for the Bears in the singles matches.

“It was really good for our team,” Klein said, of the team’s trip. “The spring break trip is the first time we really get to spend time together, and we grew very close. Being out there for five days did a lot for our confidence and our team chemistry.”

The Bears returns to action on Friday, April 1, when they face No. 25 Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, at 3 p.m.

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