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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Women’s tennis battles rain

<haracteristically warm spring season that has enabled the Knights to practice and compete more outside turned out some unfavorable conditions and thus some odd match circumstances the past weekend. Carleton won four out of the five points needed to finish off a duel with the University of St. Thomas and was stopped in its tracks by cold drizzles last Friday.

The following day, the executive decision was made to avoid toying with the weather and move the match against Concordia College – Moorhead directly inside to Lakeville Lifetime Fitness, where the Knights made quick work for a 9-0 victory. Luckily, weather permitted St. Thomas to return to Northfield to resume play on Wednesday, and Carleton pulled out a 6-3 win.

On the 23rd, overcast skies created a deadened atmosphere, but the Knights did their best to cheer across the courts and from the sidelines to pump up their teammates. In doubles, Erin Gudul ’12 and Kathryn Schmidt ’12 quickly created a 7-0 lead, and after throwing in a couple of junk games, finished off their opponents 8-2.

Frances Leung ’10 and Bridget Doyle ’13 unfortunately did not manage to eke out a win, falling 9-8(7-5). Third doubles did out-tough their opposition as Hannah Goldberg ’10 and Sarah Thappa ’13 snuck out a score of 8-6.

With the threat of rain looming, Carleton hoped to take out their opponents efficiently, and while some did just that, they became locked in a frustrating battle that had to be postponed for another day. The one doubles duo rolled off matching double-bagels and joined the support base of teammates Devin Daugherty ’11 and Courtney Halbach ’13, family, friends, and some of the men’s Knights on the bleachers to encourage struggling teammates. With a team score of 4-1 and Doyle only two games from clinching the match, though, the rains came and pushed the remaining singles matches to be decided the following week.

After a frustrating conclusion without closure, the Knights brought their composure to Lakeville on the 24th. Had this match been played outdoors at the Bell complex, it would have been a much longer affair because both the men’s and women’s teams were slated for the same start time on only six courts. While it would have been a fun atmosphere, with six courts to themselves, the Knight women put away their opponents as about efficiently as possible.

In a match that only spanned two hours, the Knights collectively lost only three games in doubles and twelve in singles. As the team’s two blondes stepped into fifth and sixth singles (Halbach and Daugherty, respectively), the longest match was attributed to Daugherty who gritted her way to a 6-2, 6-4 victory and kept her flawless singles record alive.

Oddly enough, as the Knights arrived to their home courts to fight for a decisive victory against St. Thomas, the match had been decided with the arrival of their opponents, more specifically, the lack of arrival by their sixth singles player. This clinched the match for Carleton as Goldberg won by default. Despite the win having already been determined, as pre-match inspirational spiritual guide Devin Daugherty put it, “we didn’t show up to screw around. We came here to finish what we started.”

Thappa had the difficult task of recommencing down 6-2, 3-0, and ultimately was unable to dig herself out of that hole. Up a set and 4-0, Doyle struggled a little to get off to a good start against a feisty opponent, but was able to close it out without too much trouble. The heartbreaker of the day was seeing the wheels fall off for Leung at third singles. When they restarted the match, she was down a set but up 1-0 and had an incredible run to capture a 5-3 lead, but unfortunately lost her edge and then the match in a second set tiebreaker despite fighting for every point.

Looking into the future, the Knights hope for the weather to not be a factor in what promises to be a very tough contest on Saturday with fellow undefeated MIAC team Gustavus Adolphus College.

-Kathryn Schmidt is a member of the women’s tennis team.

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