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Sarah Hackman (left) and Hannah Cim­peanu (right) play at home earlier this season. (Ryan Goff | Col­legian)

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.”

 

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    The Chargers easily beat Walsh 5 – 0, looks like we’re on track for another GMAC cham­pi­onship. Coach Wal­bright is a great coach and recruiter!