The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Women’s Tennis granted first national ranking in program history


Brenda Guan ‘20 drives a ball back at her opponent during a match.

Nadia Langley

The women’s tennis team finished their fall season with an undefeated record of 10 wins and no losses. They shone in the ITA Midwest Regional Championships, sending two players, Sabrina Tang ’23 and Abby Nielsen ’21 into the singles quarterfinals. At the Midwest Conference Individual Tournament, the players again dominated, collecting five of the six individual titles. To wrap up the season, the team was ranked eighth in the region and 35th in the nation, the program’s first national ranking.

When asked to respond to the team’s rankings, Brenda Guan ’20 admitted it was, “nice to get that validation.” The team’s coach, Paige Madara, acknowledged the rankings as a huge accomplishment. “I’ve been believing in them, and I see that belief reflected in the way they carry themselves,” Madara added about her team. Tang referred to the rankings as “a good guideline,” highlighting the effort made by the entire team to reach this point.

Madara said the rankings were “a testament to the hard work they’ve put in every day.” She described the team as working extremely well together, both on and off the court. This year, four first years joined the team, growing their numbers to ten players. “The team came together really nicely,” Madara added. Madara said a goal was to be a close-knit team, which several players cited as the key to this year’s success.

Nielsen pressed the point that, “we got some really good new first-years this year and they helped unify our team,” mentioning the struggle they’ve had in past seasons forming a team due to injuries and lacking numbers. Besides the numbers, the talent is equally necessary, as Nielsen referred to their deep lineup. Tang mentioned the team’s work ethic, their daily practice and chemistry as a team when asked to what their recent success should be attributed. Guan reflected on her past three and a half years on the team and the growth she’s witnessed in her teammates, “The last two years have really been a build up to what we’ve been able to do now,” and admitted that the recent rankings would only push the team to work harder in the upcoming Spring season.

Women’s tennis will rematch with some of their toughest competition in the coming months. Madara pointed out that, “we will be playing a lot of teams that are either regionally ranked or nationally ranked.” She listed Lake Forest as an especially tough team, but revealed she was looking forward to “these opportunities to just keep playing against the best,” as the challenge is what ultimately betters her team. Guan said they “still have a lot to prove.” She referenced an especially difficult win against Bethel University, 5-4, and her excitement “to put more work in to really show that the win against Bethel wasn’t an accident.”

The women’s tennis spring season begins with their March 1 match against University of St. Thomas in the Bear’s field house.

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