University of Northwestern Ohio’s tennis tournament last weekend brought unexpected changes in schedule and unexpected results.
In its final fall competition, the Chargers women’s tennis team picked up 14 victories in doubles and singles matches at the invitational against the home Racers as well as the University of Findlay and Walsh University, which the women will face again in spring conference play.
“We definitely did well,” coach Nikki Walbright said. “There were several individual records met. Findlay and Walsh are two of the better schools in our conference, so it was good to see that we had nice wins on these teams.”
Sophomore Katie Bell starred, going 4-1 in the tournament and being chosen by G-MAC officials as the Women’s Tennis Player of Week.
Walbright said the invite took a weird loop because of rainy weather, altering the tournament schedule and rules. Doubles played indoors on Friday with abbreviated matches to more quickly rotate the players with fewer courts available. The team didn’t finish until 10 p.m., and Saturday’s singles play began at 8 a.m. The rain by then was gone, but the wind added an extra challenge.
“We did what we needed to do. We showed up and played tennis,” Walbright said. “We did well, and it showed we could adapt to special circumstances.”
On Friday, Bell and junior Corinne Prost went 2-1, beating Walsh 6-0 and Findlay 6-2. Sophomore Kamryn Matthews and junior Madeline Bissett won 6-3 over Walsh and also posted a victory over Findlay. Junior Halle Hyman teamed with freshman Hannah Cimpeanu to take down Findlay as well.
The following day, the Chargers nearly swept singles, going 11-1 and 6-0 against the Racers. Bell went 4-1, beating Findlay 6-2, 6-0 and Walsh 6-1, 6-3.
Cimpeanu, Prost, and Bissett all won their first matches in the singles flights as well as freshman Casey Kibler, who made her college tennis debut.
“Our entire team came ready to leave a mark, and it showed in our results,” Prost said in an email. “We had consistent and solid wins. I couldn’t be prouder of my team.”
Without matches until February, the tennis team will now focus on particulars, Walbright said. This includes conditioning and weightlifting as well as match play and hitting. The team will also work on its communication and unity.
“I think we supported one another very well this weekend,” Prost said. “No matter how many girls were on court, there were always several teammates cheering them on.I’ve learned thus far that in order to improve your own game, you must first build up your teammates.”