The Hillsdale College Chargers played a dominant 4 – 0 match at home against Purdue Northwest on Sunday. The win gives the Chargers a 3 – 0 start in the spring season.
“They were able to play their own games really well, which is what I think enabled us to win the match as quickly as we did,” head coach Nikki Walbright said. “I was very proud of them for that.”
Three quick wins in doubles sealed the first point of the match for Hillsdale, which were all over within 30 minutes.
In singles, the Chargers shifted up one spot since junior Hannah Cimpeanu, who is usually Hillsdale’s no. 1, didn’t play over the weekend. But the Chargers kept up their doubles momentum.
With everyone sliding up, sophomore Sarah Hackman moved to the no. 1 spot on Sunday, and played up to the challenge in her 6 – 2, 6 – 1 win according to Walbright.
“Sarah stepped up really well today. I saw a lot of what we’ve been working on during her matches, so I was definitely very happy with her,” Walbright said. “She adapted really well in her match today.”
Seniors Kamyrn Matthews and Katie Bell also handled their matches efficiently. Mathews was the first off the court with a straight set 6 – 0, 6 – 1 win at no. 3 singles.
Bell won her match by a wide 6 – 1, 6 – 2 margin, though she still had to work hard in points.
“It was an intense match, despite the score,” Bell said. “She gave me a lot of pace. It was actually difficult. I was just trying to defend more and approach on the shots that I could.I didn’t feel like it was easy. I got angry at times, but no I just tried to approach on what I could do. If I moved her around a bit and then did something defensive and then came in I seemed to do okay.”
But Bell stuck to her gameplan against the pressure from her opponent.
“If I moved her around a bit and then did something defensive and then came in, I seemed to do okay,” Bell said.
With those matches won, the Chargers clinched the match. Freshman Canela Luna was one game ahead in her second set, at no. 4 singles, which ended up being the tightest set of the day.
“Her opponent was trying to bring Canela in at first and then backed off totally and sent up a bunch of moon balls,” Walbright said. “Canela had to adjust to that, and I think that’s difficult to do. I think it was a good test for her.”
Though quick, Bell said a lot of the positives from the match will help when the Chargers play Michigan Tech on Sunday.
“It gave me confidence that I could keep doing what I was doing and be defensive, finish when I could, and still win the match even though she was putting pressure on me,” Bell said. “We’ve got a really hard match coming Sunday and I have to be able to do that.”
The Chargers will host Michigan Tech University on Sunday, Feb. 22 in the Biermann Center. They still have a month left before conference play, but Hillsdale sits in the number one spot in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference rankings.