Women’s Tennis Starts 2-0, Defeats UMD & North Central

Dylan Zimmerman
dzimmerman@css.edu

The College of St. Scholastica women’s tennis team wasted no time in earning some marks in the win column this weekend, taking down the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs by a score of 7-2 on Friday and shutting out North Central University by a score of 9-0 the following day.

The Saints came into their match against UMD with seven straight wins over the Bulldogs, trying to extend it to eight by the end of the day. Things started off well as the Saints took a 2-1 advantage after doubles play, thanks to wins from the No. 2 team of Elise Hauer and Daniela Rojas (8-3) and the No. 3 team of Sarah Coryell and Kelly Neil (8-6).

After her win in doubles, Coryell jumped straight to singles and shutout her opponent 6-0, 6-0. Her performance was followed nicely by No. 6 Alexia Brascugli, who won 6-4, 6-1 to give the Saints a little padding to their lead. Madeleine Scanlan clinched the win for the Saints at the No. 1 spot after defeating her opponent by scores of 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). Jessica Solberg and Rojas would both win their singles matches as well by scores of 6-3, 3-6, (11-9) and 7-6, 5-7, (10-8), respectively.

Saturday proved to be much of the same for the Saints, this time shutting out their opponent on the scoreboard, the North Central University Rams, by a score of 9-0.

Things kicked off with the No. 1 team of Solberg and Scanlan winning their doubles match by a score of 8-0. The No. 3 team, consisting of Moriah Branick and Taylor Hays, also swept their opponents 8-0. The only team to drop a game would be the No. 2 team of Hauer and Katelyn Rice, who defeated their counterparts by a score of 8-1.

As far as singles matches went, the Saints only dropped two games throughout the whole competition. Solberg, Hauer, Coryell, and Kelly Neil all won their matches by scores of 6-0, 6-0. Rojas and Risako Oya both dropped one game on their way to victories of 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-0, respectively.

The players recognized that both wins on the weekend were very important, with one competition being a season opening win against a city rival and one being a conference sweep.

“I think our match against UMD was more important to us as it was our first match of the season and we wanted to start out strong, with a good lead,” said junior Madeleine Scanlan.

“I think both wins were equally important for our team,” said junior Jessica Solberg. “Since UMD was our first match of the season, I think it was a good feeling to get a W under our belt and to see that our hard work in the off-season paid off. A win over North Central is also important because they are in our conference and we will be seeing them again when the UMAC tournament comes around in May.”

Scanlan and Solberg are well-experienced players on the women’s roster this year, so it wasn’t much of a shock that they would perform exceptionally well this weekend. One of the newcomers who got her feet wet for the first time at the collegiate level was Elise Hauer. Hauer didn’t play like a freshman. In fact, she came away with a victory on both days for her team, which is very impressive considering UMD is Division II in women’s tennis.

“I think UMD [victory] was more important to me because they are a tougher team, considering they are Division II,” said Hauer. “It’s also a little more competitive since we are both Duluth colleges. It was a really fun match and a good first experience.”
As far as playing on back-to-back days, the Saints were well prepared, even if it meant playing late into the night.

“During the off-season we had captains practice and conditioning four days a week,” said Solberg. “I think our off-season preparation really helped us to recover from the Friday night match and be able to play just as well if not better on Saturday.”

“Some of our matches lasted a bit longer than we all expected,” said Hauer. “One of my friends, Danny [Rojas] was on court until midnight, which was quite the powerhouse match. Luckily, we got to sleep in the next morning since we didn’t leave for Bloomington until about 11 a.m.”

The Saints are now headed to Owatonna this weekend to take on St. Olaf and Carleton College. The first match is set to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday against the Lions.