Women’s tennis team travels to Kalamazoo for ITA tournament

| Sports Editor

Sophomore Corinne Rauck won the Kalamazoo Open this weekend at the ITA Fall Central Regional Championships held at Kalamazoo College.

“As a whole, the team had a really good showing,” sophomore Katie Helfgott said. “But, out of all of us, Corinne did the best.”

The ITA tournament is split into two draws: the ITA draw, with the winner earning All-America honors and a berth in a prestigious tournament, and the Kalamazoo draw. Rauck, who competed in the Kalamazoo bracket, won five-straight matches. Four of the matches needed a third-set tiebreaker.

“Corinne had a bye the first day and then the last day she had a three-setter all against DePauw [University] players who were pretty tough,” head coach Kelly Stahlhuth said. “She held off and did really well.”

In the championship match, Rauck defeated DePauw’s Katie Regan 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (7-3).

“I was really pleased with myself,” Rauck said. “I wanted to play in the ITA draw but I proved myself in the Kalamazoo draw so I can try and do ITA next year.”

Senior Natalie Tingir, juniors Paige Madara and Helfgott and sophomores Evelyn Qin and Theresa Petraskova competed in the ITA singles open. Tingir, Qin and Petraskova each won two matches before falling in the quarterfinal round, while Helfgott and Madara lost in the first and second rounds respectively.

“As a team we did well, but there is definitely room for more potential,” Stahlhuth said. “We did the best we could with the conditions given to us of bad weather, late arrivals and the short fall season, but we need to work on doubles play and our execution of shots because I don’t think anyone can beat us when we execute.”

Sophomore Aarthi Kasilingam made it to the semifinal round in the Kalamazoo Open, but lost to Regan 7-6 (7-3), 6-0. “Aarthi did really well,” Helfgott said. “She showed us what she could do.”

After being knocked out of the ITA Open, Madara and Helfgott participated in the Kalamazoo Open Doubles Consolation bracket, winning four-straight matches to capture the title.

“We had new doubles pairings for this tournament and we saw a lot of success,” Helfgott said.

This is the second and final tournament of the three-week-long fall season. The Bears played against the top Midwestern teams such as the University of Chicago, Denison University and DePauw University.

“It was a really good marker to show us where we stand against some of the top teams in our area,” Helfgott said. “This tournament gives us an idea of what we need to work on and where we need to improve for the season next semester.”

The team faced difficulties with the weather at Kalamazoo. Morning frost was typical, and Saturday’s high temperature never made it above 50 degrees. In addition, strong winds plagued the courts throughout the tournament.

“It was pretty cold conditions but we were able to adjust to wind and other elements and despite that we had a pretty solid tournament,” Helfgott said.

The team’s fall season ended with this tournament and the players will pick up play in March for their spring season.

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