On a quiet Friday afternoon in the Biermann Athletic Center, the Hillsdale College Chargers blanked Davis & Elkins College in their G‑MAC home opener and continued with another shutout victory over St. Mary’s College in an exhibition, adding to a dominant weekend.
The Chargers won soundly on Friday, with five out of 11 sets decided by a score of 6 – 0 and the rest with at least a three-game margin. There was never a doubt.
“We were really consistent. I think that was probably the biggest thing,” Walbright said. “If you get inconsistent you can lose to anybody, so we made really few unforced errors and set up points very well.”
Cimpeanu displayed that in full during her Saturday match, where she hit winner after winner on the way to a solid win. She has shown herself to be a standout player at no. 1 this season. After a long three-set match loss that was settled by a tiebreak earlier this year against Illinois-Springfield, Cimpeanu grinded out the only win against Palm Beach Atlantic over break and has proven herself in her four singles and four doubles wins.
“Hannah has probably been challenged the most at the one spot. She’s done a really nice job of adapting to the types of players she’s seen,” Walbright said. “It’s been nice to have her challenged as much as she has and see that she’s remained really consistent.”
Cimpeanu has noticed her own improvement through the course of the season. She said her mental game has improved the most.
“I’ve become more patient and relaxed on the court and I’ve seen my game mature compared to when I first came,” Cimpeanu said. “But I could not do any of this without the hard work and support from my team and coach.”
That theme of consistency is important for the team, both in the easier matches early in the year and in more challenging ones at the end of spring. For weekends like these, Walbright knows the importance of staying focused on the court even if Hillsdale is heavily favored.
“You have to take those matches seriously, because if we don’t play well then it could get really tight,” Walbright said.
This week, the Chargers will be working on consistency in points, particularly in doubles play, ahead of a more challenging opponent.
“Saturday, we play Walsh, who is probably one of the schools in the conference that will be our hardest competition,” Walbright said. “It’s going to be a really good match.”