Hitting off spring play with a challenge, the women’s tennis team fell to Division I Western Michigan University on Saturday.
The Chargers lost 7 – 0 in the non-conference match, despite junior Halle Hyman and freshman Hannah Cimpeanu defeating Western’s junior Denise Azcui and freshman Valentina Sanchez Briend at No. 3 doubles. Division I rules award a single point to the team that wins two of three doubles matchups.
“It’s a good start to our season,” coach Nikki Walbright said. “We held our own and had some great matches.”
Although Hyman and Cimpeanu’s victory did not appear on the final score, the win will count for each player’s personal career records.
Junior Madeline Bissett gave a noteworthy performance, losing after a tie-breaking third round at No. 6 singles against Briend. Cimpeanu fought long with Azcui at No. 2 singles, finishing 6 – 1, 7 – 5.
Leading up to the match, Walbright said the team was focusing on pressure points for Division I game style such as quick and hard hits.
“I hope we can continue that but also work on playing longer games and keep control of the ball,” Walbright said.
She said the team is focusing on match play and repetition to build consistency and endurance to take advantage of the first two months of season.
“We want definitely to win the conference and tournament championships,” Walbright said. “Our nine girls bring lots of different game styles, and they’re strong players with good experience.”
Women’s tennis faces Division II University of Illinois Springfield in a non-conference match at 9 a.m. on Saturday in the Biermann Athletics Center.
“Victory is always what we strive for,” Walbright said. “I want our game to get better, to see the girls support each other, and to pull off wins as much as possible.”