Men’s and Women’s Tennis Sweeps Northwestern

Dylan Zimmerman

The College of St. Scholastica tennis teams found success this past weekend against their UMAC rivals from the University of Northwestern. Both the men’s team and the women’s team won in convincing fashion. The men’s team put an end to their three-match skid by shutting out the Eagles with a victory of 9-0. The women got back on track as well after losing two of their past three, crushing Northwestern with a favorable score of 7-2.

The men were in much need of a win, as any team who drops four straight matches in the regular season usually struggles to get back to their winning ways. CSS did more than just defeat the Eagles, they dominated the Eagles. All three doubles teams won, with the closest match being an 8-3 victory for St. Scholastica. The No. 1 team of Josh Stainer and Logan Engelstad kept to their winning ways, defeating Northwestern’s No. 1 team by a score of 8-1. It would be both the No. 2 and No. 3 teams of CSS winning by scores of 8-3. Bryce Gadke and Jordan Lindholm made up the No. 2 team, while Trace Combs and Mike Fontana were responsible for the No. 3 team.

The Saints didn’t let down there, as they cruised through singles play on their way to their second conference win of the season. Stainer yet again proved why he was in the No. 1 position for CSS, defeating his opponent by scores of 6-1, 6-4. Following him up would be Makar Grytsevych at the No. 2 spot, who also won in straight sets (6-3, 6-1). Engelstad held down the No. 3 spot with a 6-1, 6-0 victory. Fontana would be the last Saint to win in straight sets, crushing his opponent with winning scores of 6-1, 6-2. Gadke and Lindholm would close out singles play with victories at the No. 5 and No. 6 spots. Both would go to a third set before coming out victorious.

The win came in a much needed time for the Saints, as the blowout helped show others that they still belong at the top of the conference.

“This game was important since Northwestern was ranked as the No. 1 team in our conference this year,” said sophomore Makar Grytsevych. “It helped us prove that we are still the best.”

Besides proving that they are still the best, the match also helped the CSS players gain some confidence after losing in consecutive matches before the showdown against Northwestern.

“I would say this weekend was a good match for me to actually get my confidence back, since I lost my last couple of matches and didn’t feel in good shape,” said Grytsevych.

The women’s team also took care of business against Northwestern, only dropping two matches on their way to a 7-2 conference win. All three doubles matches were won by the Saints, and all three scores matched that of the men’s results. The No. 1 team of Jessica Solberg and Madeleine Scanlan won 8-1. The No. 2 and No. 3 teams each won by a score of 8-3. Elise Hauer and Daniela Rojas made up the No. 2 team, while Katelyn Rice and Alexia Brascugli rounded it out at the No. 3 spot.

The Saints went on to win four of the six singles matches. Scanlan was victorious for the second time on the day, winning at the No. 2 spot with scores of 6-2, 6-2. Hauer also notched her second win of the competition, defeating her opponent 6-2, 7-5. Sarah Coryell shutout her competitor 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 5 spot, and Rice put together two favorable 6-3 sets to round out the scoring for the Saints.

Rice was one of three CSS players to secure two wins on the day. That’s impressive in itself, but what makes it even more impressive is the fact that Rice is a first-year student at St. Scholastica.

“As a freshman, I know relatively little about our competition,” said Rice. “However, I did know that Northwestern is one of our biggest rivals and it is always nice to beat them. Whether we expected to beat them by this big of a margin, I don’t know, but a win this early in the season is huge.”

The Saints will now head to White Bear Lake, Minnesota this weekend where they will take on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.