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

The Hillsdale College Chargers took another strong step toward the G‑MAC tour­nament over the weekend with two 7 – 0 shutouts on the road against Ursuline and Walsh. The Chargers are now 3 – 0 in G‑MAC play. 

In what was the team’s most antic­i­pated match of the season, the Chargers per­formed up to their expec­ta­tions with a lot of strong play from the lineup against Walsh. The match fol­lowed a sweep of Ursuline where not one Charger lost a game. 

Everyone on the team was able to play this weekend, which cul­mi­nated with the thrilling victory over the Chargers’ toughest opponent on Sat­urday.

“You could feel the energy on court during doubles and it def­i­nitely enhanced in singles,” senior Corinne Prost said of the Walsh match.

Though there were a number of close sets, the Chargers managed to pull out vic­tories by a com­fortable margin.

“Sat­urday, all the cards kind of aligned,” head coach Nikki Wal­bright said. “It’s probably the best the team has played. Every­thing that we had worked on we did very well. It was a super pos­itive match, I just felt like we were really in control the whole time.”

After a con­tentious doubles point where Halle Hyman and Katie Bell lost at no. 1 and Madeline Bissett and Kamryn Matthews won at no. 3, the no. 2 team of Sarah Hackman and Hannah Cim­peanu pulled out the point-clinching set 7 – 5. 

With the doubles point won, the Chargers moved into singles where Hackman got off the court by the time some matches were closing out their first sets in a 6 – 1, 6 – 1 win, Halle Hyman came out on top after a close second set to win 6 – 3, 7 – 5, and Cim­peanu came from behind to win in three sets 2 – 6, 6 – 1, 7 – 5 to clinch the match.

“It was kind of one of those days where everyone did some­thing that stood out,” Wal­bright said. “It was one of those magical days when every­thing just kind of clicked for everybody.”

For Prost, who won at no. 6 singles against Walsh and at no. 5 against Ursuline, things seemed to click as she stayed in the moment during points. She said she was able to not get too worried about being ahead or behind in games. 

“I was able to handle just the imme­diate point before me without thinking too hard of where I was at or how far I would have to go,” Prost said.

After a strong in-con­ference win against Walsh, the Chargers are looking ahead to the G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship in hopes to receive an auto­matic bid to the NCAA Tour­nament in May. Five matches stand in their way before the G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship at the end of April, which Wal­bright says is the team’s main focus more than a national ranking or the numerous awards earned by the team this season.

“Our main focus is winning the tour­nament because that gives us an auto­matic qual­ifier to the NCAA tour­nament,” she said. “It’s nice to get the player of the week and other acco­lades, but at the end of the day we’re really just focused on winning con­ference.”