WIAC Champions: Warhawks win pair


April 29, 2015 By Joe Walsh

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s tennis team won the WIAC Conference team tournament April 25, defeating UW-Oshkosh 5-0 and UW-La Crosse 7-2 at Janesville Premier Tennis and Fitness to improve to 22-4 this season.

Winning the WIAC team tournament has punched UW-W’s ticket to the NCAA Division III Championship. The top four teams from the fall’s WIAC standings advance to the team tournament, with the winner earning the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Championship.

“Our team has been battling a lot of injuries, mainly in our top lineup,” Megan Humphreys said. “We knew a lot of people had to step up in order to beat these teams. We had people sitting out in both matches who normally wouldn’t, but everyone else on the team picked it up and was able to finish the job for each other.”

In the semifinal match against UW-Oshkosh, the Warhawks dropped just one game in doubles to move to singles play with a 3-0 lead. Alexandra Talyansky tallied her first victory as the No. 1 singles player. Jillian Wallace also won for the first time at No. 2 singles with straight set victories 6-2, 6-3.

“[Wallace] was battling knee problems, and she was able to win at number two and she normally plays four for us,” head coach Frank Barnes said.

Wallace was paired with Alicia Beck and Talyansky with Rachael Siemon for a pair of wins in the WIAC finals against UW-Lacrosse. La Crosse won the top doubles matches, but trailed 2-1 heading into singles play. Bridgid McGuire picked up a straight set win at No. 2 singles and Siemon stepped in at No. 6 singles for a win to give the Warhawks a 4-1 advantage.

Megan Humphreys sealed the team win with a 6-3, 6-0 win at one singles to improve to 27-7 this season.

“One of the big matchups of the day was our number one singles player Megan Humphreys and their No. 1 singles player Bridget Bellissimo, they are both recently ranked players,” Barnes said. “[Humphreys] really came to play and she was playing lights out, this match stultifies her chances of going to the NCAA tournament as an individual.”

The Warhawks also celebrated Senior Day on Saturday. Barnes and the rest of the tennis team reveled their lone senior, Amanda Dick, a transfer from Drake, with a special ceremony between matches.

This is the 12th season that the WIAC has had a participant in the NCAA D-III Championships, and UW-Whitewater leads the way with eight appearances.

“I’m very optimistic about nationals this year,” Humphreys said. “I think as a team we have a chance of making it, which I don’t think would have been the case in previous years. If we all play our best, I know we can compete with any of the top teams”

The Warhawks are one of the 50 schools to qualify for the 2015 NCAA Division III Championships. Announcements about the remainder of the field, bracket, and sites of opening round competition will be made on May 4 at noon.