Women’s tennis splits season-opening pair of matches

| Senior Sports Editor

Eric Marcus | Student Life

Freshman Aly Coran returns a point near the net during the Lynn Imergoot Invitational on Sept. 15, 2012. Coran was 2-0 against Case Western Reserve University on Sunday, defeating Taylor Sweeney 6-4, 6-3, at No. 3 singles and pairing with senior Paige Madara to win at No. 3 doubles 9-7.

The 13th-ranked Washington University women’s tennis team opened its season with a split of two road matches, losing 5-4 to 10th-ranked DePauw University on Saturday before coming back the next morning and beating Case Western Reserve University, 7-2.

The Bears were one match away on Saturday from a perfect start despite missing a crucial cog in the lineup, senior captain Kate Klein. Given that absence, head coach Kelly Stahlhuth was happy with how things went.

“The team played really well. We had two extremely hard matches right out of the gate, and our senior captain [Kate Klein] was hurt, so I was very impressed with how the girls handled it.”

Saturday’s matchup with DePauw came down to the final match, with DePauw’s Claire Marshall winning a three-set match over Wash. U. freshman Aly Coran at third singles (3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2)). The Bears managed to split singles as a whole, with junior Theresa Petraskova, freshman Jamie Silverberg and sophomore Hanna Newstadt winning at first, second and fourth flights, respectively. Newstadt and Silverberg won the second doubles matchup as well, picking up an 8-2 victory.

“They brought all of their experience, and they were kind of ready,” Stahlhuth said of DePauw. “I think this year, for them, they had a bit more experience, so I think that was the difference for them.”

One of the challenges the team faced, especially heading into Saturday’s match, was the lack of a test at match speed in the spring.

“We’ve been practicing for 5 1/2 weeks, and we’ve been trying to prepare,” Stahlhuth said. “But you don’t really know, and you get tired of only playing your own teammates. You really need that test.”

Wash. U. took its first win of the season on Sunday against unranked Case Western as the team won all but one match each in singles and doubles. They got out to a 2-1 lead in doubles as Petraskova and junior Corinne Rauck took top doubles 8-3 while Coran and senior Paige Madara won the third match 9-7.

The Bears proceeded to win all but the sixth flight in singles, and all five winners did so in straight sets. Petraskova (6-2, 6-4), Silverberg (6-3, 7-5), Coran (6-4, 6-3), Newstadt (6-4, 6-2) and Madara (6-2, 7-6 (1)) all took their respective matches, and only a three-set loss (6-3, 0-6, 10-7) by junior Betsy Edershile prevented Case from getting swept in singles.

Stahlhuth praised Case Western, predicting that it would soon be a nationally ranked team, before she lauded her team’s ability to turn around quickly and play a solid match on Sunday.

“For me, I’m impressed we were able to carry it over to the next day. Usually, when you have a hard match like [Saturday], you don’t have a lot left. They had a lot left.”

Wash. U. will be back on the court at 10 a.m. on Saturday as it faces Rhodes College at home.

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