UW-W hopes to retain WIAC throne


Senior Megan Humphreys returns a shot at the Warhawk Invite on Sept. 3. Photo by Kim Gilliland

By Ashley Kouba

Sept. 14, 2016

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s tennis team is back and defeating their competition as they try and top last year’s incredible finish. With the season only a few weeks in, they already have won their first tournament and are 4-1 and 1-0 in the WIAC.

Last season, the team saw a record tying season with 24 victories and the women made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament. They also won the WIAC tournament, earning them their ninth straight berth into the NCAA tournament.

The team returns with almost all of last year’s players after graduating three seniors and gaining one freshman. That lineup includes four previous All-Americans: Alicia Beck, Megan Humphreys, Bridgid McGuire and Jillian Wallace. Also head coach Frank Barnes is returning for his fourteenth season.

“The team has really matured,” Barnes said. “They’ve kept their motivation to improve. We talked about not setting quantitative goals. Week by week, month by month, and semester by semester our goal is for each individual to get better.”

The women opened their season Sept. 2 with a sweep in singles and doubles competition against UW-Eau Claire, claiming their first WIAC win.

They went on to claim the championship of their host tournament, the Warhawk Invitational. Sophomore Gabi Kitchell went 3-0 and winning the No. 1 singles competition. Wallace also won the No. 2 singles, going 3-0 including a winning tie-breaker in the championship match. As for the No. 1 doubles competition, it was Humphreys and McGuire who dominated the field, winning all of their sets. Warhawks doubles teams also took home second place in both No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Also finishing second in No. 3 singles was junior Kassie Alexander.

The Warhawks continued their winning streak into the next match when they downed Wheaton College 7-2. The match, on Sept. 6, included all three wins in doubles competition. Four of the six Warhawks competing in singles won their respective matches including Kitchell, Humphreys, Wallace and junior Alexandra Talyansky.

This past weekend, the women competed in three separate matches at Wangerin Courts on the UW-W campus. The team lost their first match of the day 5-4 against Cardinal Stritch University. Singles competition proved to be the downfall as only Beck and Mcguire were able to win out of the six athletes competing. Doubles competition went better as the duo of Humphreys and McGuire along with duo Talyansky and Alicia Beck both took home victories.

Putting their first loss behind them, the Warhawks rallied back to beat Edgewood 8-1 on Sept. 11th. Sweeping the doubles competition and 5 of 6 singles, their only loss came by default as Whitewater did not have a player compete in the No. 6 singles.

Closing out the day against St. Norbert College, the team once again swept the competition in singles and doubles events. The match saw some different faces in the doubles competition with McGuire being paired with junior Brittany Goebel rather than her typical partner Humphreys, who still competed and won in singles.

Five athletes were contacted, but did not respond at press time.

The Warhawks will return this Saturday Sept 17th taking on UW- La Crosse in a conference match at 9 a.m. and Principia at 4 p.m.