CSS Tennis Records Perfect Weekend

Dylan Zimmerman
dzimmerman@css.edu

The College of St. Scholastica men’s and women’s tennis teams are approaching playoffs soon, and after this weekend there are only three matches left until the UMAC tournament for the men and only two remain for the women. Neither team has to worry about “finding their form,” however, as both teams look to be in tip-top shape. If that’s not believable, just ask North Central or Minnesota Morris, who both fell to St. Scholastica by scores of 9-0, 9-0. Not just the men won 9-0, 9-0. Not just the women won 9-0, 9-0. Rather, both teams went 18-0 on the weekend, totaling up to a grand total shutout of 36-0.

The women’s team started the weekend off against North Central, and it wasn’t even close. In fact, St. Scholastica didn’t drop a single game the entire match. All doubles scores were 8-0 in favor of CSS, and all singles scores were 6-0, 6-0. That dominating performance would be hard to repeat, but the women almost pulled it off the following day against Morris. Most scores were shutouts, except for one doubles match and two singles matches where the Saints dropped only one game in each. Kelly Neil, one of the victorious Saints on the weekend, values the teamwork and work ethic of CSS tennis and finds it motivational towards her matches.

“Singles went really well this weekend,” said Neil. “It’s nice to be apart of a team that continues to encourage you to do better; with hard work and encouragement from the team, you can get the win.”

The men’s team, who also didn’t drop one match across the roster on the weekend, had a bit tougher of a time than the women. Against North Central, the lone player to sweep his opponent was Logan Engelstad, winning by scores of 6-0, 6-0. The rest of the Saints experienced a loss for a game or two, but none of the players dropped a set. The following day against Morris was quite similar, as most Saints dropped a game or two, but not enough to lose a set. Mike Fontana and Bryce Gadke were the lone Saints to sweep their opponents, each by scores of 6-0, 6-0.

The men’s team in particular were very sure heading into the weekend that they would come out undefeated.

“I expected myself, as well as the team, to go undefeated this weekend because we played well in our last matches against North Central and Minnesota Morris,” said Elliot Kazlauskas. “The team, including myself, practiced well going into the weekend and we got out what we put in.”

Kazlauskas, like many of the other Saints on the weekend, was very pleased with his performance. UMAC champions don’t settle, however, as he believes there are still things to improve on.

“I felt that my match went well against Minnesota Morris,” said Kazlauskas. “I made sure that my serves, as well as my groundstrokes, stayed in and I was fortunate enough to get the win. I still have things to work on, but I feel that I’m heading on the right track.”

The players on each of the respective teams know they need to stay on a hot streak heading into the final couple weeks of the regular season.

“It’s really important to keep this [winning] streak going,” said Neil. “We have goals as a team that we are wanting to meet so this streak acts as motivation to keep going.”

For the men’s team the winning streak is needed in order to overcome some tough upcoming competition.

“It is important to stay this hot heading into the final weeks of play because we are up against St. John’s on Sunday,” said Kazlauskas. “They are a tough team to beat, but if we continue doing what we’ve been doing these past couple of weeks we will put up quite a challenge against the Johnnies.”