Over a hot, sunny weekend, the Hillsdale Chargers gained experience in individual match play at the ITA Regional Championships. The team competed against schools from across the Midwest in the G-MAC, GLIAC, and GLVC.
Senior Corinne Prost and junior Katie Bell won the A doubles consolation draw. After losing 8 – 6 to the University of Indianapolis in the first round of A doubles, Prost and Bell went on to win all three matches in the consolation draw, capping it off with a 8 – 4 win over Walsh University on Sunday.
“Despite undergoing a lot this weekend outside in the heat, Katie and I managed to remain steady and out-rally our opponents,” Prost said. “Our consistency made the difference, especially in Sunday’s doubles matches.”
Prost and Bell played hard matches in the singles draws in between their doubles performance. Bell went 2 – 2 in singles, exiting the A singles draw at the consolation round of eight. Prost left the B singles draw in the round of sixteen, but not before winning her first match 6 – 1, 6 – 0.
“I found that I handled her shot selection with more ease than I did in the second match,” Prost said. “I made more use of net play and her mistakes off of my serves.”
In her first collegiate match, freshman Sarah Hackman came back from an 0 – 6 first set to win the second set 6 – 1 and then the tiebreak 10 – 4.
“I was quite tight due to nerves but through the second set I was able to play my style of tennis and turn the match around in my favor,” Hackman said.
Coming off that tiring match against Indianapolis, Hackman lost to GVSU freshman Vera Griva 6 – 4, 6 – 2.
“The hot temperatures over the weekend made it tougher to play so many matches,” Hackman said, “but overall it was an great way to start out college tennis and a lot of fun to get to know the whole team better over the weekend.”
To prepare for the NWO tournament, the team is focusing on playing matches, according to Prost.
“We’ve backed away from drilling for these next few weeks, and added on set-play in both doubles and singles,” she said.
She thinks it will help players play through mental mistakes that popped up in matches this past weekend, something sophomore Elli Formentin hopes to improve.
“Getting the opportunity to work on strategies and the mental aspect will be helpful in the upcoming tournament,” Formentin said.