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The Carletonian

Memorable season continues as Women’s Tennis jumps to No. 20

<rleton women’s tennis team is kicking butt and taking names. Oles’ names, that is.
The Knights improved their record this week to 13-4, defeating Luther College yet again on Sunday and St. Olaf on Monday.

The previous weekend the Knights had defeated Luther, 7-2, and although the Norse narrowed the margin, Carleton still prevailed, 6-3. Kathryn Schmidt ’12, Bridget Doyle ’13, Anne Lombardi ’14, and Erin Gudul ’12 all posted victories in both singles and doubles.

Lombardi stole the spotlight, coming out with stunning comebacks in both of her matches.
In singles, Lombardi was looking down the barrel of her opponent’s gun, down 1-6, 0-3 in the match, with the end seemingly near when she stepped up her game to rally back and come out on top 1-6, 7-5, 10-7 in a tiebreaker. 

Lombardi maintained her determination by keeping her blinders on to pull herself up step-by-step.

“I just decided to take it one point at a time and work my way back into the match,” said Lombardi. “I ended up being able to get my footing back and bring it back to a third set tiebreaker. I just tried to focus on each individual point rather than looking at how far I had to go.”

Meanwhile, in Lombardi’s doubles match with Doyle immediately after, the two came back in a nail-biter to win 9-8. The duo is currently ranked No. 12 in the region.

Lombardi approaches the impressive ranking with the same focus that she brings to her tight matches.

“It’s great to be ranked but we still have a long way to go as a team,” said Lombardi. “I think we have improved a lot but we see room for more improvement. I think we can definitely work on how we start off our matches. The first few games are really important for us and so we are working on coming out strong.”

Hopefully with such an improvement the two can demolish opponents more expeditiously and decrease the number of fan heart attacks in the process.

Against St. Olaf, Katherine Greenberg ’14 showed her stuff by coming back in a similar Hollywood rebound to win her singles match 2-6, 6-4, 10-5. With Greenberg’s win and a doubles shutout the Knights took charge of the Oles, 8-1, to stay undefeated in the MIAC.
“In the first set I was getting really frustrated,” said Greenberg, “but then I calmed down a little bit and started focusing more and thinking more strategically and things started going a lot better.”

Although the match marked the annual “crosstown rivalry” for the teams across the Cannon, Greenberg paid little notice to any increased significance to the match.

“I wasn’t really all that concerned,” said Greenberg. “I obviously wanted to win but I usually want to win all the matches.”

The number of Ole fans in attendance added an extra air of competition, however.

“[Olaf] had a lot of fans so that probably inspired all of us a little bit more.”

Nonetheless, she believes Carleton fans have the greatest power to inspire the team to their full potential.

This week brought more inspiring news as rankings came out announcing the team as No. 20 in the nation and No. 6 in the region. The team is at its highest national ranking in the last decade. Gustavus Adolphus College is the only MIAC team ranked ahead of Carleton, but expect those positions to change soon.

Carleton anticipates another busy weekend at home with the University of St. Thomas at 4 p.m. on Friday, Grinnell College at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and University of Wisconsin-River Falls at 3 p.m. on Saturday. All matches are at the Bell Field Courts.

Lombardi still applies her centered philosophy to these upcoming matches.

“I’m definitely gonna try to rest my legs a little bit but they’re all just regular matches so I’ll just go out there and play,” said Lombardi.

Felicity Flesher is a member of the women’s tennis team.

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