Men’s and Women’s Tennis Post Winning Records in Florida

Dylan Zimmerman
dzimmerman@css.edu

    The College of St. Scholastica men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled to Florida over spring break to compete against some tough nonconference opponents. Each team played a total of five games, with the men’s team going an impressive 5-0 and the women’s team holding their own by going 3-2 on the trip.

    The men’s team replicated their record to start the season by stringing together five straight wins for the second time this year. The one loss in between those two streaks of five wins came against Luther College, who upended the Saints by a score of 5-4 in White Bear Lake, Minnesota before the trip down south. Four of the five CSS victories in Florida were decided by one match, with the Saints taking the 5-4 advantage each time.

    The women’s team, who played all but one of the same teams as the men’s team, also put together a respectable performance in Florida. Their 3-2 record on spring break is one thing, but the more dominating statistic is the fact that they had a +7 margin when it came to total matches won. All three victories were won in convincing fashion, as the Saints put together 7-2, 7-2, and 6-3 performances.

    To kick things off, the Saints took on St. Ambrose University and Lake Forest College on the first day of their trip. The men snuck out of day one with back-to-back 5-4 wins, while the women put together two 7-2 victories to make it a perfect day for CSS tennis. Each team was given a day of rest before heading back on the courts for two more matches the ensuing day.
    The men’s team stuck to their 5-4 victory pattern, defeating Cornell College by the one-match margin to extend their record to 3-0 on the trip. The women had a tougher time against Cornell, falling to the Rams by a score of 3-6. They bounced back, however, by defeating Saint Mary’s College 6-3 to close out the day. The men took on Dickinson College for their second match of the day and took a 7-2 victory to remain perfect.

    The last day of action for the tennis teams involved a men’s and women’s matchup against McMurry University. The men closed out their undefeated Florida trip by taking down the War Hawks by a score of 5-4, while the women fell 3-6.
    Going undefeated in Florida wasn’t ever labeled impossible for the men’s team, despite taking on some very tough opponents during their week in favorable weather.

    “Going into this trip we knew it would be possible to win all of our matches, but we also knew it would take a lot of hard work,” said Zach Meikle. “We were scheduled to play some really good teams while there, and they didn’t disappoint. However, the guys put in some really solid performances, especially some of our freshmen, and we were able to finish up the trip with a perfect record.”
    The men’s team isn’t the only team finding wins early on in the season as the women’s team has an impressive overall record of 9-3 heading back into Minnesota.

    “We’ve been off to a pretty good start this season, so we were hoping to continue playing well during our week in Florida,” said Miki Samz. “All of our matches were close, and it felt great to come away with some wins against very good teams.”
    Up next for the tennis teams is a pair of conference showdowns this upcoming weekend. The matches will be hosted at the Arrowhead Tennis Center in Duluth with Martin Luther coming to town Friday and Northwestern making an appearance on Saturday.
    Despite the recent success CSS has had against their UMAC foes, both teams know not to overlook anyone if they wish to win their respective conference titles.

    “We’ve spent the whole semester preparing for our UMAC matches and we know we can’t take any wins for granted,” said Emma Bartels. “I think if we can focus and play how we’ve been playing these past few weeks, then hopefully the matches will go the way we want them to.”

    “We never want to underestimate our opponents so we’ll prepare for this weekend like we would any other match and give it our best, but I’m very confident in our ability to win these matches,” said Meikle.

    Northwestern has always been a tough team for CSS, proving to be one of the better teams in the conference in multiple sports throughout the years. This has led to a constant rivalry between the Saints and Eagles, and women’s tennis is no different.

    “This is a very big weekend for us,” said Samz. “We have two important conference matches that we’ve been preparing for and hopefully all of our hard work will pay off. Northwestern has always been a very strong team, so I’m expecting that to be a close match. Hopefully we can come away with two conference wins and keep working toward our team goal of winning the UMAC championship.”