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jada-bissett
Seniors Jada Bissett (pic­tured) and Dana Grace Buck were honored on Senior Day last weekend. (Photo: Brad Monas­tiere / Courtesy)

At its final dual meet of the season, women’s tennis lost at Wayne State Uni­versity Wednesday 7 – 2, ending the season on a sour note.

The loss con­cludes a dif­ficult season, putting the Chargers at a 4 – 7 losing record. Still, the team is heading into a week and a half of practice leading up to the con­ference tour­nament in Midland, Michigan, Oct. 28 – 30 with enthu­siasm to chal­lenge their GLIAC oppo­nents for the final time, before Hillsdale College joins the GMAC con­ference in January.

“It’s always exciting to see a team again because you know exactly how to play the girls,” senior Dana Grace Buck said. “You know how to win, and if you lost to them, you want that revenge.”

Buck said many of the com­pe­ti­tions she and her team­mates faced were close enough that the match could have gone either way.

“Usually, they don’t best us twice,” Buck said.

At Wayne State, the Chargers had hoped to overcome a losing weekend, but they couldn’t pull ahead. It was a dis­ap­pointing loss, given that Hillsdale beat Wayne State last year, Buck said.

At No. 2 doubles, Buck and sophomore Madeline Bissett beat their oppo­nents 8 – 4. During the singles com­pe­ti­tions, only sophomore Halle Hyman won 6 – 2, 2 – 1 in the No. 1 spot. Her opponent defaulted because of an injury.

The loss comes after a dif­ficult weekend, when the Chargers lost their final two home matches, falling to Northwood Uni­versity 8 – 1 Sat­urday and Saginaw Valley State Uni­versity 6 – 3 Sunday.

“Although it was dis­ap­pointing to lose both, we had some great indi­vidual per­for­mances each day,” coach Nikki Wal­bright said.

Against Northwood, who is unde­feated, sophomore Halle Hyman shined, Wal­bright said. Hyman sent her opponent into three hard-fought sets at No. 1 singles, coming out as the only vic­to­rious Charger of the day. She won 4 – 6, 6 – 2, 10 – 4.

Going into Sunday against Saginaw Valley, Buck said the team had high hopes for a win.

“We wanted to use Sat­urday to get warmed up for Sunday,” Buck said. “We knew Sunday would be very tough but attainable.”

It started strong, with the Chargers ahead after the doubles com­pe­ti­tions 2 – 1. At No. 1 singles, Hyman and freshman Katie Bell defeated their oppo­nents 8 – 5. At 8 – 4, sophomore Madeline Bissett and Buck won at No. 3, giving Buck her 45th career win in doubles on Senior Day.

“I’ve been so blessed to have tennis all four years,” Buck said. “I have nothing to be sad about because I’ve had the most won­derful expe­rience. The team, they’re my best friends.”

Buck said the team fought espe­cially hard on Sunday.

“We were lit­erally so scrappy, throwing every­thing we had out there,” Buck said. “Despite what the score said, you would not have known who was winning and who was losing.”

During singles, however, the Car­dinals got the best of the Chargers. At No. 6 singles, only freshman Kamryn Matthews tri­umphed, at 6 – 3, 6 – 3.

“It’s hard because tennis is an indi­vidual support, but it’s a team sport,” Matthews said. “It’s hard to cel­e­brate that accom­plishment because we lost…It’s hard because we had it right there.”

But Matthews said the team is looking forward to the tour­nament.

“It’s a second chance,” she said. “We want to give the GLIAC some­thing to remember us by.”