Women’s tennis finishes year with tough schedule

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Last weekend, the SVSU women’s tennis team returned to action after a winter hiatus to take on Bellarmine University on Saturday, March 24, and Southern Indiana on Sunday, March 25.

The Cardinals dropped their match against Bellarmine before bouncing back against Southern Indiana in dominating fashion.

“This year’s spring schedule is by far the toughest we’ve ever had,” head coach Jennifer Boehm said. “That was definitely by design, as we wanted to test ourselves against great teams while increasing our strength of schedule for postseason consideration.”

Although the team has faced many obstacles, Boehm still believes that the team is performing well in their matches.

“Despite the fact that we’ve dealt with injuries and illness over the last couple of months, I feel that our team has competed quite well in these matches,” Boehm said. “We’ve lost some close battles, but we also had some remarkable wins in both singles and doubles that show the strength and grit of this team.”

Prior to the start of the spring season, the Cardinals were ranked No. 8 in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings, their highest ranking in program history.

On Saturday, March 24, the team ventured to Louisville, Kentucky, where they lost 6-3 to the Bellarmine Knights.

Shea Donahue was victorious in both her doubles and singles matches. The senior partnered with sophomore Maddie Miller, and they won their No. 1 doubles match 8-6.

Donahue won her No. 1 singles match in three sets. Miller lost the No. 2 position in two sets.

Senior Danielle Slonac and freshman Joanne Gao lost their No. 2 doubles match 8-2.

Sophomore Taylor McLaughlin and junior Nikita Hill lost 8-2 in the No. 3 doubles slot.

In more singles action, Gao won the other singles match in a three-set tiebreaker, winning the final set 7-6.

Gao lost the first set 6-2. She bounced back with a 7-5 second set before the tiebreaker.

McLaughlin took her No. 4 slot opponent to three sets. After dropping the first set 6-2, she rallied back and won the second set 7-5 before ultimately dropping the final set 6-2.

Slonac kept up with the trend in the No. 5 slot, as her match went three sets as well. She won the first set 6-4 before losing the second set 6-2. Her opponent took the victory with a 6-3 final set.

Hill lost at the No. 6 position in two sets. The spring season is Hill’s first with SVSU. She is a junior college transfer from North Central Texas College. Her family currently resides in Australia.

After her match, Donahue remarked on the difficulties that the team faced with four of six singles matches going to three sets.

“The most difficult part of a three-set match is the mental game,” Donahue said. “All three setters were very tough with long points.”

Despite the challenges of the match, Donahue was still happy with the outcome.

“Our opponents were very tough this weekend, and the three sets could‘ve gone either way,” Donahue said.

“Overall, all matches were very competitive, and I’m extremely proud of how the team performed.”

The women rebounded on Sunday with a 9-0 victory over Southern Indiana.

The team will play its final match of the year on Friday, March 30, as they travel to Eastern Michigan to take on the Eagles.

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