Tennis Struggles vs. MIAC Competition

Dylan Zimmerman

The College of St. Scholastica tennis programs had a rough weekend, recording a combined record of 0-3 between both the men’s team and the women’s team. The losses, although hurtful on paper, were good for the Saints to experience, considering they were against Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) teams.

The men’s team fell twice over the weekend, with the first loss coming on Saturday by a score of 7-2 against St. Olaf College. They would then travel back to Duluth for their home opener the following day, only to be defeated by a score of 8-1 in favor of their MIAC competitors, Carleton College.

The matches at St. Olaf didn’t go the way the Saints were hoping, as they lost all three doubles matches by scores of 8-6, 8-5, 8-5. Josh Stainer proved once again that he is a threat to be reckoned with, winning at the No. 1 spot by a score of 7-5, 6-4. The other win on the day for the Saints came off the racquet of freshman Bryce Gadke at the No. 5 spot, winning in straight sets of 6-3, 6-3.

Winning against a MIAC opponent is always something to be proud of, and there is even a little more pride for one’s self when they do it as a freshman. Despite odds not being in his favor, Gadke didn’t see his victory as an upset.

“Winning my singles match against St. Olaf was a great way to start off the year,” said Gadke. “I didn’t consider it to be an upset because walking out on the court the freshman naivety took over a little, helping me think I was going to win.”

Gadke credited his victory to more than just his skillful play on the day.

“I felt warmed up on service because it was the first time I played doubles before my singles match, and I was slightly tired from being sick last week so that really forced me to play more intelligently.”

The Saints then fell at home to Carleton the next day, with the only win to show for being earned by the doubles team of Stainer and Logan Engelstad. They won by a score of 8-3, giving the duo a lot of confidence as the season unravels.

“It definitely gives Josh [Stainer] and I a lot of confidence knowing we can compete with these top schools in the region,” said Engelstad. “We mesh really well on the court so as the year progresses hopefully our play keeps elevating to set the tone for the team.”

The men’s team is looking forward to the rest of their season, knowing that they can take away the good and the bad from this past weekend.

“Overall I was happy with where my level of play was at, but there’s always things to improve on,” said Engelstad. “It’s never fun to lose, but
this weekend proved to us that we have the ability to battle with these top schools. We just have to learn from our mistakes and go to practice each day with the mindset to improve.”

The women’s team is also going to have to try and bounce back after their first loss on the season, falling to St. Olaf by a score of 6-3. Two of the three wins for the Saints were singles wins by Madeleine Scanlan and Sarah Coryell, who is still undefeated on the year. The last win came in a doubles match performed by Daniela Rojas and Alexia Brascugli. Rojas in particular was excited about the victory over St. Olaf.

“It is a huge confidence boost,” said sophomore Daniela Rojas. “Winning doubles against St. Olaf was really important for me. It will give me more confidence in the next matches since we are going to be playing against some really good teams.”

Rojas and the women’s team, much like the men’s team, are taking away the good and the bad from the loss on the weekend.

“Getting three wins was good for the team, because we did better than last year against them,” said Rojas. “Our team is strong for sure, but we still need to work on some things in order to be better and win some of the tougher matches we will be having.”