Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Women’s Tennis team falls to nationally-ranked Gustavus, rebounds by shutting out St. Thomas

<s been a dark and stormy spring in Minnesota, but until last weekend the women’s tennis team showed no sign of faltering in the brisk Northern air.
On Saturday, the MIAC’s No. 2 team, Carleton, and No. 1 squad, Gustavus Adolphus College, faced off in one of the last matches of the season. Unfortunately, the Knights came out the loser, falling 7-2 to the Gusties.

Both Knight wins displayed the general atmosphere of the match: starting off shaky but finally gaining the courage to come back. In a discouraging start, Carleton lost all three doubles positions, with the most games coming from third doubles pair of Sarah Thappa’13 and Molly Hemes ’14 at 6-8. After this setback, Katherine Greenberg ’14 won the sixth singles spot 3-6, 6-2, 10-5 in a tiebreaker while a few courts over, Erin Gudul ’12 conquered the fourth singles spot 0-6, 6-2, 10-4 after being shut out in the first set.

Number one singles player Kathryn Schmidt ’12 and Hemes fought back to third set tiebreakers but neither could pull it out.

For Schmidt, the individual losses were her first in three years of conference play. Prior to the Gustavus match she had only lost one set in either singles or doubles in her MIAC career.

“To be honest, I was disappointed,” said Schmidt. “My goal for the match was to come out and play tough and not be nervous. That type of nervous energy that I felt I kind of expected but I also felt frustration that I couldn’t overcome it.”

Despite the overall score, the nail-biter individual matches show promise.

 “The encouraging part of [the Gustavus match] is that our whole team fought so hard and we had so many close matches that even with a lot of nervous energy we were so close,” said Schmidt. “I think there is definitely a lot to look forward to with the next match. I feel like I got [the nervous energy] all out the first time we played them so now the only place to go is up.”

And up they went. In their next and final regular season match, the Knights threw their negative vibes out the window and slammed the University of St. Thomas, 9-0, on Monday, winning all matches in straight sets.

Gudul had an impressive day against the Tommies, first with Schmidt in a doubles shut-out, 8-0, then in singles, 6-3, 6-3, to bring her singles record for the season to 16-2. 
Schmidt analyzed their performance against St. Thomas as catharsis after Gustavus.

“I feel we got all our nervous energy out against Gustavus,” said Schmidt. “We know that St. Thomas is always a tough team too but we were able to just relax and feel confident in our abilities and in our mental toughness so we were able to overcome those nerves and go out and play tough and take care of business.”
With the St. Thomas victory, the Knights have accumulated a conference record of 27-3 over the last three seasons.

With the regular season at its end, the Knights are 15-5 overall and 9-1 in the MIAC. Nationally, the team is No. 20 and regionally, No. 6.

Now the Knights set their gaze on the Holy Grail of collegiate athletics, the national championship. First, they must garner a bid to the NCAA tournament by playing in the MIAC playoffs this weekend. Carleton, the No. 2 seed, plays its first match in the semifinals – having a bye through the first round – this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Gustavus Adolphus playing a to-be-determined opponent. The finals will be Saturday at 4 p.m. where hopefully the team will get another shot at the Gusties – this time with an alternate ending.

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

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *