Straight down the line: Grinnell Women’s Tennis set to repeat last year’s success


Evan Hein

Members of the Grinnell women’s tennis team said they hope to continue their impressive winning streak from last season.

Emme Perencevich, Copy Editor

One month in, the Grinnell women’s tennis team’s fall season is in full swing. With two away victories on Saturday, Sept. 17, the team extended their Midwest Conference (MWC) winning streak.

“Against the conference opponents we’re in a spot where we’re the best team, but I think we’ve gone forward, and we’ve proved that in a lot of ways as well. So, it’s been a good start,” said Coach Zachary Hasenyager.

At the tournament at Ripon, Grinnell swept the home team 9-0. The same day they beat Lawrence 7-2.

“I think for the fall semester, I’m excited for our Midwest Conference Championships. It is basically the weekend before fall break. It is where we can show our best players and our best tennis. It also determines who goes to Nationals,” said Ioanna Giannakou `24.5.

The team also welcomed eight new first years this season, bringing the total number of players to 19. With a bigger team, they now must make adjustments to who they can take to tournaments.

“Everybody is forming good relationships and getting involved. We had fun this past weekend where I was able to bring six of the eight first years to play against a couple of conference opponents and get them some experience and get them some good match play,” Hasenyager said.

Sabrina Tang `23 appreciated the opportunity to travel with some of the newer team members.

“I guess one of the things that’s been different is learning how to work with a big team. And I think it’s been really great. I love all the first years. I got to travel with them last weekend, and it’s been great getting to know them all and helping them acclimate to Grinnell, and that’s pretty awesome,” said Tang.

Last year the team raised the bar, sweeping the conference and making their way to the first round of the NCAA D-III National Qualifier. Tang was named ITA All American.

“I know last year was a really good year for me, but I’m not trying to replicate it,” Tang said. “I’m just trying to train in such a way that I’m prepared to do it and then just go out on the court and have fun because after all, it is my last year, and I lost a lot of tennis to COVID and stuff so I’m just looking forward to enjoying it and then setting up a foundation for the team to succeed in the future.”

“We won the conference tournament, and then we won all of the singles and doubles flakes. We cannot do better than that, in some ways, but hopefully we’ll be able to repeat that feat,” Hasenyager said.

“[It was] arguably the most successful season in program history. And so again, replicating that or outdoing that is going to be a tall task,” said Hasenyager. “We’re starting to establish this kind of legacy and precedent of success.”