Women's tennis competes at ITA Championships

Nick Hoelmer
September 22, 2013

SAINT PETER, Minn. - Members of the St. Olaf women's tennis team competed in the ITA Midwest Regional Championships and the Gustavus Fall Invite held at Gustavus Adolphus College on September 20 and 21.

"The ITA's are a great opportunity for us to get quality competition early on in the year," said St. Olaf captain Lizzie Carlson. "Even though our main season is in the spring, it gives us the chance to figure out what our strengths and weaknesses are and start fine tuning our play."

Lisa Hall and Maya MacGibbon played in the tournament's main singles draw. Hall, a sophomore, was one of 16 players that were seeded going into the 64-player draw. Hall began her tournament by toppling Grinnell's Hannah Feldman 6-2, 6-2 before running into some stiffer competition in her second match against UW-LaCrosse's Bryanne Blanton. Hall cruised to a 6-2 win in the first set but Blanton came right back and took the second set 6-4. However, Hall was able to maintain focus and came back to win a grueling third set by a score of 6-4 to secure her second victory of the tournament.

"All that was going through my head [before the third set began] was that I wanted to make it to Saturday's matches," Hall said. "Losing was not an option...I wanted to get as much court time as I could."

In the next round, Hall ran into fifth seeded Megan Humphries of UW-Whitewater and was defeated by the eventual tournament champion by a score of 6-4, 6-1. Despite the loss, Hall declared she was satisfied with her play. "I felt like I learned so much about myself as a player," she said. "The good competition makes you want to push yourself to your limits, you have nothing to lose and the competition makes it fun."

MacGibbon faced some tough competition in her main draw debut. The sophomore played a competitive first round match against Gustavus's Annie Mahoney but fell by identical 6-3 scores. She then faced Kim Mrozaek of UW-LaCrosse in the consolation bracket and played another tough match before losing in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.

In doubles action, Hall and MacGibbon received a first round bye and went on to win their next match against Carroll's Julia Patzin and Alison Lambrecht 8-3. The sophomore duo then ran into first-seeded Anne Lombardi and Michaela Becich of Carleton and were handed an 8-3 defeat. "It was super fun to play with Maya," Hall said. "I felt that we grew much more comfortable with each other and we communicated well and had a lot of fun."

Meanwhile, Carlson, Mary Eide, Bailey Kent, Erin Hynes, Andrea Jumes and Caitlin Owsley all competed in the Gustavus Fall Invite, which consisted of seven draws of 16 players. Eide and Kent each went on to win four matches apiece to win their respective draws. Eide, the lone freshman to participate for the Oles, defeated St. Norbert's Anna Gosz in the final 6-2, 6-4 and Kent picked up a 3-6, 6-4, (10-6) win in her bracket over Colleen McCullough of UW-Eau Claire.

Jumes won two matches before being defeated by Katherine Ake of St. Norbert, the draw's eventual champion. Hynes also won her first match against UW-Whitewater's Abby Day before going down to Carleton's Caroline Greenberg 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of her draw. Carlson opened with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 win over Luther's Megan Wachholz but was defeated in her next match by Coe's Sarah Lasecki. Owsley lost her opening round match to Luther's Kylie Kruse but bounced back to win her consolation match against Devon Paulsen of UW-Eau Claire. Owsley was not able to continue playing due to an illness.

In the doubles draw of the Gustavus Fall Invite, the pairs of Hynes/Eide and Kent/Jumes won their first two matches before being ousted in the quarterfinals. Hynes and Eide defeated teams from Grinnell and St. Catherine and Kent and Jumes defeated teams from Cornell and Luther. Carlson and Owsley received a first round bye and then claimed a second round victory over Concordia College. They then were forced to default their next match due to Owsley's illness.

"Obviously it's great to get match play in so early in the year," Carlson said. "However, it is also an opportunity for us to bond as a team and we are lucky to have such a close knit group."

The Ole women will play their next match on October 5 against Upper Iowa University. The match will take place at 2 p.m. on St. Olaf's Carlson Courts.

Contact media relations specialist Mike Ludwig at (507) 786-3834 or ludwigm@stolaf.edu.