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Harvey Wilhelm
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Tennis remains confident after back-to-back losses


Lizzy Montgomery '11 returns a volley during practice on Thursday, September 24.      Robert Logan/The Scarlet and Black
Lizzy Montgomery '11 returns a volley during practice on Thursday, September 24. Robert Logan/The Scarlet and Black

The Women’s Tennis Team is used to certain precious metal around their neck come post-season. However, in their last two matches, the Grinnell Women’s Tennis Team did not strike it gold.

On Tuesday, their previously perfect record fell after a 1-8 loss to Wartburg College.  Their only victory in the match came from No. 3 doubles partners Catherine Fitch ‘13 and Elizabeth Montgomery ‘11. Last Saturday, they were handed an even greater defeat by Coe College, a Division III nationally ranked team, by a score of 0-9.

Coach Andy Hamilton says there was some struggle due to some shift in the line-up.

 “Constanza Alarcon [’13] was injured,” Hamilton said. “Elizabeth Montgomery stepped into double line-ups and Catherine Fitch moved in singles. I’m pleased with their results—the level of play was very strong.”  

It was a nerve-racking experience for the first year, particularly considering the tough foes.

“My knees were buckling and hands shaking,” Fitch said.  

But despite her nervousness, Fitch won five sets before losing the match against Coe—not bad for a first year that has only competed in singles once. Hamilton was pleased with her performance and saw her grow just in the short time that she was playing.

 “She has the tools to compete in singles line-up,” Coach Hamilton said.

Fitch looks forward to building her skills playing singles, especially against the competition that the Pioneers face.

”It’s nice to be on a team that is used to winning and are just competitive in a good way,” Fitch said

But the high level of competition is just all part of the plan, according to Hamilton.

 “There is no clique or motto,” Hamilton said. “This team goes out and takes care of business. My goal for the team and the individual is to have fun and play at the highest level they can play.” 

Despite the consecutive loses, Grinnell’s Women’s Tennis Team remains resilient and confident.

 “I am really proud for my team against the strong competition” Senior Jill Akiyama said. “The season is going pretty well, they were two losses, but they were pretty decent teams”.  

Going into this weekend, the team is now 7-2 overall, but 1-0 in the Midwest Conference South division.  This weekend will be instrumental for the Pioneers—the women take on Monmouth today at 4 p.m. and Lake Forest and Illinois College tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively. These games will finish out divisional play. 

Coach Hamilton predicts success with Monmouth and Illinois College but Lake Forest might be more of a challenge.

“Comparing scores suggest we are stronger going into the match,” Hamilton said. “Our focus needs to be playing our game. [Lake Forest] seems to me will be closely contested, [they are] talented and deep, [Illinois College just] lacks depth to place.”

With one win already under the belt in conference play and some tough losses behind, the Pioneers are looking for some redemption this weekend.

“In order to get to the four team [conference] tournament, we need at least two wins this weekend,” Hamilton said. “I’d be surprised if our players weren’t going into the weekend confident.”

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