Women’s tennis falls short
Midwest Invitational loss to Chicago follows two strong wins against regional foes Denison and DePauw
The No. 13 Washington University women’s tennis team reached the championship of the Midwest Invitational before falling to No. 6 University of Chicago Saturday in Madison, Wis. The Bears dominated against Denison University and No. 11 DePauw University Friday, winning 6-1 and 6-3, respectively, to reach the final round.
Despite losing one of their strong players, freshman Jamie Silverberg, to an injury suffered Friday, the Red and Green put on what head coach Kelly Stahlhuth described as “one of the best performances for the season.” However, the Bears fell short of first place, dropping a 6-3 decision to UChicago
“We had a solid win over Denison, and we finally figured out DePauw [to whom the Bears lost Feb. 23],” Stahlhuth said. “I’m not too disappointed at our loss against UChicago. We were able to have a good look at UChicago, and we’ll play them again soon. We still did pretty well in the tournament even though we didn’t win it all.”
Friday’s match against Denison was no issue for the Bears as they swept in doubles, winning 8-3, 8-5 and 8-4 the three doubles matches. Although junior Theresa Petraskova dropped a close match against Denison’s Kelsey Geppner in No. 1 singles, the Bears dominated the remaining five matches, defeating Denison’s players in straight sets and losing no more than two games in any set.
The loss to DePauw in February prepared the Bears for the rematch.
“It was another close fight for both teams,” Stahlhuth said. “It definitely helped that we had already played DePauw, so we had a better idea of their player’s strengths and how to take advantage of their weaknesses.”
The Bears took two out of the three doubles matches as Petraskova and sophomore Hanna Newstadt beat their opponents 8-6 and freshman Aly Coran and Silverberg won 8-4. In singles, the team managed to win four of its matches: Petraskova outdueled DePauw’s Maggie MacPhail (6-1, 5-7, 6-4) while Silverberg, Coran and senior Paige Madara won in straight sets.
However, the Bears found it hard to match up against UChicago’s big hitters in the final. Furthermore, losing Silverberg meant that the team needed to make last-minute changes to its lineup. However, Stahlhuth is proud of how her team coped with the difficult situation.
“We handled the situation calmly, and sometimes things like this just happen,” she said. “Sometimes you got to jump on the fly, and our girls competed really hard. We knew we had to come out strong against UChicago, but we just didn’t get the job done, especially on doubles. But we’ll tweak a few things and get it done next time.”
While most of the squad struggled, Coran and Madara found some success, winning their doubles match 8-4 and their singles matches 6-2, 6-1 and 6-4, 6-3, respectively. Coran’s win improved her record in the last five matches to 10-0 between singles and doubles and added another win to Wash. U.’s 13-1 record at No. 3 singles for the season.
Wash. U. will be back in action at 4 p.m. April 9 when it hosts Fontbonne University.