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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Women’s Tennis, still perfect after all these matches

The undefeated Women’s Tennis team added three more victories to their record this past weekend against Beloit College, St. Norbert College and Carroll University, bringing them to 9-0 overall and 2-0 in Midwest Conference play.

“We had a great weekend of tennis last weekend. We played Beloit in the morning and we won 9-0,” said Head Coach Andy Hamilton ’85. “The same day we played St. Norbert and we won 8-1. Then the following day we played at Carroll University in Waukesha and we won 7-2.”

Photograph by Mary Zheng.

As of the Oct. 5 Midwest Conference standings, St. Norbert and Carroll were at the top of the North Division Conference standings. Grinnell tops the Southern Division.

“Beating St. Norbert was a great win for the team, the fact that we beat them by an extensive margin of 9-0 demonstrates that we’re ready to face them, if they end up being the top team in the conference, in the coming tournament,” Constanza Alarcon ‘13 wrote in an email to the S&B.

Coach Hamilton thought that the win against Carroll was the team’s biggest success of the weekend.

“I think Carroll is one of the top three teams in the league, along with Grinnell and Lawrence.” Coach Hamilton said. “The North Division is stronger than our Division, so the weekend of tennis was very productive for us because we played good opponents and prevailed.”

The team swept the doubles competition in the match against Carroll, setting the mood for the remainder of the competition.

“I would love to highlight our doubles play against Carroll. You start a match with doubles and it really kind of sets the tone for the match.” Coach Hamilton said. “We swept Carroll in doubles and that was a real deciding factor in the match because we were up 3-0, all we had to do was come up with two of six singles point.”

“I was really impressed with doubles sweeping because that just gave everyone a boost of confidence going into singles,” Hanna Feldman ’14 said.

Winners in doubles for the Pioneers were Sadhana Athreya ’14 and Laura Krull ‘13, Alarcon and Feldman and Shirlene Luk ’15 and Tatyana Sukharnikova ‘12. Hamilton felt that the No. 1 pair had an especially well-played match.

“I think our No. 1 doubles, Laura Krull and Sadhana Athreya, played the best match they’ve played all year,” Coach Hamilton said.

The team was also successful in their singles competitions. Winning singles matches for the Pioneers were Alarcon, Luk, Feldman and Toby Cain ‘12.

“Toby was definitely very inspirational because she got the fourth point easily at [No.] 5 singles.” Feldman said. “It was the clincher for the match, and I came down from losing a set to winning the next two. So, that was definitely a relief to see the top of our lineup play so strongly against tough players.”

“Carroll was a great match for us, and winning by a 7-2 margin gave us all more confidence in ourselves as individuals, as well as the team,” Alarcon wrote. “We had amazing double matches where we came in and really took control of the matches, sweeping them 3-0. The doubles victories truly marked a sense of confidence for all of us going into singles. To be honest I was impressed with our players from 1-6, we all played amazing singles and proved to be getting ready for the individual competition during Conference weekend.”

Alarcon was also named the MWC Women’s Tennis Performer of the Week.

This Saturday, Oct. 8, the Pioneers host Monmouth College at 11 a.m. and Grand View University at 2 p.m. on their home court. The team plans on using all of the players during these match-ups.

“The matches this weekend are a little less competitive than the ones we had last weekend, but I feel like it’s a great opportunity to keep working on [our] doubles chemistry and perfecting our shots in singles.” Alarcon wrote. “I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of our team members participate in the lineups and demonstrate how deep our lineup is.”

“This weekend will provide an opportunity to play every player in the program, and I am very excited about that because typically our lineup has 7 or 8 players but we have 16 players on the team,” Coach Hamilton said. “It will be nice to put everyone in a uniform and give them a chance to play.”

Both Coach Hamilton and Feldman felt that Lawrence might be the biggest challenge for Grinnell. The North division standings may change a bit once St. Norbert and Carroll play Lawrence University.

“[St. Norbert is] first in the North along with Carroll, I don’t believe either of those teams has played Lawrence yet. If you notice, Lawrence is 1-0 in the North but they haven’t played those 2 teams,” said Coach Hamilton.

“We haven’t played Lawrence and we’re thinking we’ll probably play them in the championships.” Feldman said.

Coach Hamilton sees this team going far.

“Not to be too bold, we are the defending Midwest Conference champions.” Hamilton said.  “At the very least our success suggests that we will be in the thick of the race for another title.”

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