Bears split matches against ranked opponents, crush Mary Hardin-Baylor

| Sports Editor

The No. 17 Washington University women’s tennis team overcame season-ending injuries to two of its top players to go 2-1 over the weekend.

After taking two of three doubles matches against No. 30 Trinity University, the Bears saw the Tigers win four of six singles matches to pull off the 5-4 upset on Friday. Wash. U. then rebounded with a 7-2 victory over No. 26 University of Texas-Tyler and an 8-1 win over the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The Bears played without sophomore Kate Klein and freshman Betsy Edershile, the second and third singles players for the Bears, who will both miss the remainder of the season due to injury.

“I think we did really well, considering the circumstances,” freshman Corinne Rauck said. “It was really random to have two players injured.”

In Friday’s match against the Tigers, the Bears needed to change their doubles and singles lineups to compensate for the injuries to Klein and Edershile. Freshman Evelyn Qin, who normally plays with Klein at first doubles, teamed up with junior Natalie Tingir at first doubles and lost 8-4. Senior Elise Sambol, Tingir’s usual partner, played with freshman Theresa Petraskova and won 8-5. Sophomore Paige Madara and freshman Corinne Rauck played third doubles and won 8-6.

In singles, the team also played without top player Tingir, who missed the match with an injury. Petraskova and Rauck won at second and sixth singles, but Trinity took first, third, fourth and fifth singles to win the match.

“I think we all played really well, especially without two of our top players,” Qin said.

Wash. U. won all but two matches easily against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Sunday. The Bears dominated the Crusaders from the outset, winning all three doubles matches.

Qin and Tingir won at first doubles, 8-1, Petraskova and Sambol won at second doubles, 8-2, and Madara teamed up with Rauck to win at third doubles, 8-6. The same lineup won five of six singles matches, with Tingir suffering the only loss of the day at first singles, 6-2, 6-3.

Saturday’s 7-2 win over the University of Texas at Tyler was much closer than the score indicated.

All three doubles matches were decided by tiebreakers. Qin and Tingir fell 7-4 in the tiebreaker while Petraskova/Sambol and Madara/Rauck won their tiebreakers 7-1 and 7-5 at second and third doubles, respectively.

“We would have been in big trouble [if they had not]. We were happy to play as well as we did,” Qin said of the team’s doubles effort.

Tingir split sets with opponent Michelle Hagler at first singles before dominating the third set to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. Qin, Petraskova, Madara and Rauck all won their singles matches in straight sets, but Sambol fell in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

Coach Kelly Stahlhuth has stressed the importance of getting off to a fast start by winning doubles matches, and the team responded by winning seven of nine contests this weekend.

“It’s always really important….It lets us know how much we need in singles,” Qin said.

The team travels to Madison, Wis., to compete in the Midwest Invitational tournament this weekend, opening at No. 14 DePauw University on Friday.

“I think a lot of the upperclassmen really want to win against them,” Rauck said. “I know we’re all going to try our best.”

The Bears will not play a home match this spring until hosting the University Athletic Association Championships on April 22.

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