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The Scarlet & Black

Women’s Tennis enjoy 22-game win streak

Lily Hamilton ’19 prepares to deliver a fierce forehand

By Julia Sloniewsky

At Grinnell College, some of the best-performing teams sometimes happen to have the fewest. Despite having a group of only seven players, Women’s Tennis spent their weekend beating Ripon College, Lawrence University and old rival St. Norbert College with a score of 9-0 for all three games. The weekend’s success marks a 22-game winning streak in the Midwestern Conference for the Pioneers.

“We expected to beat [Ripon and Lawrence] and we expected to win against St. Norbert, but not as decisively as we did,” said Lily Hamilton ’19, who has the seventh highest number of singles wins for a Women’s Tennis player at Grinnell.

The tennis players also have the unique opportunity of hitting the ground running even before classes start in the fall, meaning they have the entire summer to prepare in whatever ways they see fit. Despite the popular slogan that practice makes perfect, some players saw rest and relaxation as better uses for their time than clocking in long hours on the court and at the gym.

“I didn’t really train over the summer,” said Brenda Guan ’20, who pulled stunning victories in both her singles and doubles matches. “The expectation is that when you get back for training, you give it your all. But when you’re off, you’re off.”

The ethos of giving it their all follows the tennis team both on and off the court. Besides playing six days a week, the team strives for strong academic performances as well.

“It’s incredible to see a group of women who are so driven in the classroom but also so dedicated to the sport,” Guan said. “We put a lot of emphasis on academic success.”

The team’s size also makes it easier for them to form a cohesive unit. “Everyone knows each other really well,” Hamilton said.

“There’s no room for cliques,” Guan said. “We have more friends off the team now, because otherwise we would get sick of each other, with all the time we spend together. It’s healthier this way.”

The team is young, with three first-year players, which creates an element of the unknown for the team’s season. “We have a different team dynamic because half our team is new. So we don’t know exactly how our team is going to stack up,” Hamilton said.

Her biggest concern? “Lake Forest is a really tough team. But, we’re playing really well.”

The women’s tennis team hopes to continue their winning ways this weekend, as they head to Beloit and Lake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Lily Hamilton ’19 prepares to deliver a fierce forehand
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