The women swept the Royals in doubles competition, with Beth Erie 05 and Kristen Buchta 05 winning the first match, Lauren Benson 06 and Emily Eggert 06 winning the number two match and Jorie Steffen 07 and Sarah Pray 07 winning the number three match. Erie, Buchta, Benson, Eggert and Steffen also won the number one, two, three four and six singles matches, respectively. Pray nearly defeated Bethels Cindy Ask in the number five singles match, but lost narrowly, 10-7, in a tiebreaker.
The victory lifts St. Olaf to a 4-3 conference mark and a 7-4 overall record, good for fifth place in MIAC standings. The Oles currently trail Carleton, St. Bens, St. Thomas and St. Kates in conference play (the four teams combined produce 14 conference records, 19 wins and only three losses), but have one more conference win than the national powerhouse Gusties.
Though Gustavus will probably move ahead of the Oles as they play more conference matches, St. Olaf will have an opportunity to defend their position, rounding out the regular season with matches against St. Bens, Carleton and Macalester.
The women will encounter several opportunities to upset higher-ranked opponents at the upcoming conference tournament. The Oles have played several strong MIAC teams evenly this season, including a 5-4 loss to St. Thomas and a deceptively substantial 7-2 loss to St. Kates.
Several Ole tennis players expressed disappointment after their match against the Tommies, believing they could have won the match and vowed to even the score if their teams meet in postseason play. Considering their strong work ethic and practices emphasizing game scenarios, the Oles should be at their best in tournament play.
Despite the excitement surrounding tournament speculation, the team remains focused on the remainder of their regular season. Though the Oles should defeat Macalester (the Scots are 2-4 in conference play, 4-8 overall), St. Bens and Carleton both rank above the Oles in MIAC standings and have proven worthy regular season foes.
However, given St. Olafs penchant for competing well against top teams, neither team can afford to take the Oles for granted.
The Oles play their next match Tuesday against Carleton at home. The match will begin at 4 p.m.