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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Women’s Tennis Wins Conference

Once again, the Grinnell women’s tennis team has emerged as conference champions. Following their 5-3 victory over St. Norbert College in the semifinal, the Pioneers’ 5-0 thrashing of the Lake Forest Foresters in the title match of the MWC Conference Tournament on Friday, Oct. 18 earned them their fourth conference championship in a row and ninth championship in the past 10 years.

The tennis team holding some hard-earned hardware. Photograph contributed.

In the team championship, Virginia Purcell ’17 and Shirlene Luk ’15 won number one doubles 8-6, Sadhana Athreya and Emma Macdonald, both ’14, won number two doubles 8-2, and Hanna Feldman ’14 and Julia Rumley ’16 were victorious at number three doubles with a score of 8-4. Macdonald also won number five singles 7-6, 6-2, and Rumley cemented the team’s victory by winning six singles with a score of 6-3, 6-2.

After the team championship tournament concluded, every player was more ready than ever to compete on her own or with her doubles partner in the MWC Doubles and Singles Tournaments in Madison, Wis. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20, respectively.

“We were just all pumped up, ready to go for individuals. After we won, none of us could stop smiling—we were singing on the bus going to Madison,” Luk said.

Five Pioneers were individual winners at the Madison tournament. Luk, Athreya and Feldman won first, second and fourth singles respectively and Feldman and Macdonald won number two doubles.

If these victories were not enough, head coach Andy Hamilton ’85 was also named MWC Head Coach of the Year at the Madison tournament.

The team’s resiliency was on full display as they managed to bounce back from consecutive conference losses to both St. Norbert and Lake Forest in mid-October.

Hamilton credited the championship to a “super group of seniors,” who won key matches in both singles and doubles.

Grinnnell’s tournament victory dealt Lake Forest their first loss of the season.

“Slight changes to the lineup and doubles pairings, as well as their ability to accept and play well in these changes [led to the victory over Lake Forest],” Hamilton said.

With this championship under their belt, the Pioneers have now qualified to take part in the NCAA Division III Championships set to take place in Claremont, Calif. in May. Considering the team currently has several players out due to injuries, Hamilton projects the squad will be even more prepared for Nationals once they injured athletes recover.

In the off-season the team will continue to tune their skills and prepare to take on some of the best players in the country in May.

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