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ISSUE 117 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/19/2004

Tennis performs well despite record

By Julie Gunderson
Executive Editor

Friday, March 19, 2004

The womens tennis team went on a roller coaster of emotions last weekend.

Less than 24-hours after dropping a 6-3 match to St. Kates on Friday night, the women were back on the courts Saturday afternoon, grinding their way to a 6-3 win over Cornell.

The two matches tested both the women's physical and mental stamina, but in the end the split gave the team a lift.

According to coach Scott Nesbit, however, the final results of the St. Kate's and Cornell matches were not entirely accurate descriptions of how the team performed.

We won the match [against Cornell] and played well in spots, Nesbit said. But we were just so tired from that intense match the night before that our level of play was not what it had been against St. Catherine's.

The women started out strong against St. Kates, winning two out of the three doubles rounds, but faltered losing five of the six singles matches.

We started out by playing really aggressively, Nesbit said. We were setting up each other well, by forcing crosscourt shots.

The loss against St. Kate's did not shake the women's confidence in their play.

"We've got strong players at all the positions," Jorie Steffen '07 said. "Right now were just working on improving every match and becoming more aggressive at the net."

Against Cornell, the women won four of the six singles matches. And the doubles team of Beth Erie '05 and Kristen Buchta '05 picked up a win in their number one doubles match.

The women's up and down weekend is indicative of the way that things have been going for the team all season.

The Oles started out 2-1 in the conference and then lost three straight before notching their Cornell victory.

Although the team stands at 2-4 in the MIAC and 3-4 overall, they are quick to caution that the record books can be deceiving.

Weve really been playing well all season, Jamie Brau '04 said. Our win-loss record doesnt reflect how well weve been playing as a team. Most of our losses have come down to one or two matches at the end.

Nesbit also praised the women for their skills on and off the court.

The women on this team do so many things that make them able to compete at a high level, Nesbit said. They support one another and have a team attitude. They just play smart tennis which means they are making few mental errors.

The Oles will use Spring Break to rest up for the remainder of the season as coach Nesbit alternates which team, mens or womens, take a Spring break trip.

The team will return to the court on April 2 when they host Luther.

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