Over the weekend, the UW-Whitewater women’s tennis team continued their strong start to the season at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships and at the Gustie Fall Invite. Both of which took place at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.
“A lot of the team thought this was their chance to step up,” head coach Frank Barnes said. “They expected to do well.”
The senior doubles team of Bridgid McGuire and Jillian Wallace won the doubles championship at the meet and by doing so earned automatic All-American honors and a spot in next month’s ITA Oracle Cup. McGuire is now a four time All-American in doubles and Wallace a two time All-American in doubles. McGuire and Wallace trailed UW-La Crosse’s Sadie Spahn and Bridget Bellissimo 5-2 in the second set before winning four of the last five games to force a tiebreak and win by scores of 0-6, 7-6 (4), 1-0 (10-5). The pair then went on to beat the top seed team of Haley Resnick and Lauren French of Coe College (Iowa) by a score of 8-6 and finished with an undefeated 5-0 record on the weekend.
Wallace also finished second in the singles draw with victories over the one seed, Bellissimo, and the fourth seed, Natalie Wijesinghe of UW-Eau Claire, before falling to the ninth seed, Brianna Hartmann of Gustavus Adolphus, in straight sets.
Between singles and doubles Wallace spent twenty hours on the tennis court in the heat and humidity over the course of the three-day weekend.
“That’s the hardest part really,” Wallace said. “Just trying to keep your body intact.”
“That’s the grueling nature of this tournament,” Barnes said. “Jillian (Wallace) played 11 matches in 3 days.”
Senior Alexandra Talyansky also advanced to the semifinals of the singles bracket with wins over a ninth seed and a fifth seed before falling to ninth seed Brianna Hartmann of Gustavus Adolphus in the semifinals. McGuire advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles that included a victory over a fifth seed before falling to fourth seeded Wijesinghe in the quarterfinals to give the Warhawks three of the top eight finishers in the singles draw. Senior Brittany Goebel and freshman Sabrina Palavra both lost in the singles round of 64, but went on to win their next three matches in the consolation bracket.
In the doubles draw the Warhawks had two more teams advance to the round of 16. The freshmen team of Paige Nierman and Sabrina Palavra defeated the ninth seeded team before falling to the first seeded team of Resnick/French from Coe College by a score of 8-2. The team of Talyansky and junior Julie Martin also advanced to the round of 16 before falling to the three seeded team of Bellissimo/Spahn by a score of 8-3.
“This is a really strong tournament,” Wallace said. “You get to see all those different types of tennis.”
At the same time as the ITA Midwest Regional Invitational Championships was being played several other Warhawks were competing in the the Gustie Fall Invite at Gustavus Adolphus College.
Sophomore Madeline Slicker advanced to the singles final of the Gustie Fall Invite before falling to Jess Duda of St. Catherine by scores of 6-3, 6-2. Freshmen Allie Miller lost her first match of the day before winning her next three including an 8-3 victory in the final over Hannah Gronseth of Gustavus Adolphus to place first in the singles consolation bracket.
In the doubles draw at the Gustie Fall Invite the freshmen team of Jazemyne Schoeller and Allie Miller advanced to the final before losing 8-1 to the team of Sarah Coryell and Danny Rojas of St. Scholastica.
The Warhawks return to action on September 27th when they travel to Steven’s Point for a dual meet against the Pointers.