Men’s and Women’s Tennis Stay Undefeated in Conference Play

Joe Stark

The College of St. Scholastica’s men’s and women’s tennis teams had three matches this past weekend, two of which were important conference matches. The third match took place Sunday against the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The Saints started off the busy weekend on Friday night when both teams took on Martin Luther College Knights. The men started off the night with their top two doubles teams winning 8-0 and 8-6. The team of Chad Hietala and Jason Kent took the number three spot and were up 7-5 until Martin Luther won two straight to make it 7-7. Kent and Hietala recovered nicely however, as they were able to take the next two sets and win 9-7. In singles play, Scholastica was able to win four out of their six matches with their top three spots all winning 6-0, 6-0. Trace Combs was in the four spot, and he was the fourth win for the Saints winning 6-3, 6-3. The Saints took the match by a score of 7-2.

The women were next and they looked to repeat what the men did before them. Just like the men, the doubles teams for the women took care of business as all three teams won in convincing fashion winning 8-1, 8-2, and 8-5. Moving on to singles, the women came up one short of a total sweep as they won five out of the six with Jolene Duda headlining the Saints as she was able to
win her first collegiate match with a score of 6-2, 6-1. CSS took the match with a final score of 8-1.

The Saints teams looked to repeat what they did the night before as they were back on the tennis court Saturday afternoon starting off with the women. In the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) game of the week, the Saints took on their rival, the University of Northwestern Eagles. The Saints picked up where they left off, sweeping their three doubles matches and giving them the momentum heading into singles play. Although CSS lost the match at the number one spot, they were able to bounce back by winning four out of the next five matches and taking the overall match by a score of 7-2. The win helped the Saints keep sole possession of first place in the UMAC.

The men have dominated Northwestern over the years, only having lost once to them. Saturday would be no different, as the Saints swept the Eagles 9-0. It was a special day for Saints senior Logan Engelstad as he became the all-time winningest player in CSS men’s tennis history; he won both his doubles and singles matches giving him 118 wins in his career, which broke the previous record of 116.

The women tried to continue their winning streak on Sunday as they took on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles. It was the third day in a row for the Saints and it may have gotten to them as they had a tough time from the start. The doubles teams for CSS all lost and three out of the top four dual spots were also taken by the Eagles, which was enough for them to clinch the match. The Saints ended up going down 7-2.

The men took to the court right after and looked to beat the Eagles for the first time in school history. The match was led off by the doubles teams where the Saints lost the number three doubles spot. The Saints would then take control of the match when the number one and two spots were victorious to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. CSS then lost the first three singles matches to go down 4-2, which meant they needed to win the remaining three matches to win the match as a team. Freshman Serhii Tykhonenko took care of his match, cutting the lead to 4-3. Then the Saints looked to their winningest player, Engelstad, and he won his 120th match, tying up the match at 4-4. It all came down to freshman Brendan Boudreau and he delivered by winning 6-4, 6-4 and gave the Saints the 5-4 victory.

After the weekend, the men improved to 13-1 and the women to 11-4. Both teams will be back in action for their final home match on Saturday against Bethany Lutheran and then on the road Sunday to take on the University of Minnesota-Morris.