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(Photo: Hillsdale College Ath­letics)

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.”

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    Western has one of the stronger women’s tennis pro­grams in the MAC con­ference, which is Division 1 as the article noted. This was good expe­rience for the Hillsdale ladies as they get ready for con­ference play.