On Friday September 24 the Hillsdale Chargers women’s tennis team went up against Wayne State but fell short losing 6 – 1.
Coming into the day the team said they knew it would be a challenging matchup.
“We definitely expected it to be a tough match,” Senior Sophia Spinazze said. “Wayne State is consistently a good team and we knew they’d come out really strong again this year.”
The Charger’s lone win was Junior Canela Luna at No. 3 singles, winning 6 – 3 in the first set before Linda Liong retired from the match.
In doubles, Senior Sarah Hackman and Junior Ellie Chawner lost 6 – 1 at No. 1. Likewise, Libby McGivern and Julia Wagner lost their match 6 – 1. Sophia Spinazze and Luna came closer but lost 6 – 3.
The loss was tough but Spinazze noted that even while losing many of the sets, the players competed well and gave themselves a chance in each of the matchups.
She said she found it encouraging to see players adjust to adversity and make serious attempts to come from behind.
“A lot of us lost the first set pretty quickly but had much better second sets,” Spinazze said.
Head Coach Nicole Walbright said the fall season is a chance for new additions to prove themselves on the court.
“I am hoping to take positives from the match and bring it into the rest of our fall matches,” Walbright said. “Especially for the younger girls, it’s an important time to get used to college tennis.”
Junior Canela Luna said that mindset will be an important thing to look at and grow from when looking at Friday matches.
“We need to come out with more energy,” Luna said. “We need to have more fire and come out focused from the beginning.”
In preparation for next Sunday’s matchup against Saginaw Valley State University, Spinazze said the team is drilling shot confidence and muscle memory.
“I think confidence in our shots is something the whole team needs to work on and doing things like having the coach feed you a bunch of forehands in a row really gets that muscle memory ingrained,” Spinazze said.
Because of changes to other schools’ game schedules the chargers are playing more matches early on than usual that will directly affect their NCAA record, including SVSU on Oct 3.
“It is a new challenge for us this season, but it’s exciting as well,” Spinazze said.