St. Olaf 8, Concordia-Moorhead 1 (box)

Women's tennis opens spring season with win over Concordia

Michael Abdella
February 13, 2012

FARGO, N.D.- In their first match of the spring season, the St. Olaf women's tennis team defeated MIAC foe Concordia-Moorhead 8-1 on Saturday afternoon.

After losing senior Claire Carlson, who tore her ACL in practice, and with the departures of Abby Ho and Sarah Magnuson, St. Olaf's line-up was much different from last year. However, with a couple new faces and players moving up in the line-up, the Oles swept the doubles matches and dropped only the first singles match on their way to opening the spring with a win.

The women opened with singles play instead of doubles play due to scheduling with the men's match also being played at the same time. In the singles play, St. Olaf won five of the six matches to clinch the win even before the three doubles matches needed to be played.

The lone match the Oles lost was at first singles, where Caitlin Harper lost a close straight set match to Andrea Rognlien 6-3, 7-5. Harper, who split time between second and third singles last fall, moved up to the top spot this spring and played well but Rognlien, who was 12-6 at the number one spot for Concordia last year, proved a little too tough. St. Olaf won each of the second through fifth singles matches in straight sets. Christine Muller picked up a straight-forward 6-1, 6-1 win over Julie Olson at second and junior Julia Ellis also dropped just two games in a 6-0, 6-2 win at third over Andrea Koskiniemi. At the fourth through sixth spots, first-year Kristi Kroker, sophomore Caitlin Owsley, and sophomore Lizzie Carlson each made their MIAC debuts and all earned straight set wins. Kroker defeated Emma Koskiniemi 6-3, 6-4, while Owsley topped Chelsie McGraw 6-2, 6-4. Playing at the sixth spot, Carlson dropped only two games in a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Kelly Kalvoda.

With an unassailable 5-1 lead entering doubles play, the Oles continued their strong play, sweeping the three doubles matches. Harper and Muller partnered up at first doubles and cruised to a 8-0 win over Rognlien and Emma Koskiniemi. Kroker teamed with fellow first-year Andrea Jumes against Olson and Andrea Koskiniemi and the St. Olaf duo came out on top of a close 8-6 match. Lizzy Eggert and Carrie Wight, who played three matches at third doubles last fall, topped McGraw and Kalvoda 8-5 at the third spot.

The win came after the team scrimmaged the University of Minnesota's club team on Friday afternoon in Owatonna. Coach Scott Nesbit said the scrimmage was beneficial to his players, as it got them valuable match play before the regular season schedule. Next up for the Oles is a match against Division-II MSU-Mankato on Saturday afternoon in Owatonna.

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