The women’s tennis team will aim to serve its way past conference rivals toward another automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA national tournament on Saturday.
The Warhawks have had a very successful year, going 8-4 during the second half of the season and 19-5 overall. With key victories against Luther College twice and an undefeated spring break trip, the women looked to be right on track.
But in the Midwest Invitational, the ’Hawks had key losses against University of Chicago as well as a loss in a close match to DePauw University.
The team will head into the WIAC Final Four tournament after resting for three weeks, and they will play on their home courts for the first time since October.
They will face UW-Oshkosh first and if they advance, they will play the winner of UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty good tournament for us as a team,” Schaefer said. “This is pretty much our last home tournament of the year and we get to play teams from our conference.”
With a record of 20-4 overall, UW-La Crosse looks to give the ’Hawks the biggest challenge if they play each other.
Playing in the ’Hawks favor has been the consistent dominance of the team in the WIAC.
The ’Hawks have won the Final Four three years in a row, and have taken the conference title in the fall season for the past four seasons as well.
One constant force for the ’Hawks has been junior Kalla Schaefer. She has posted a 7-5 record as the No. 1 singles player since returning from her semester hiatus.
Since coming back to UW-Whitewater, she said she has been trying to focus on specific things inside and outside of practice to improve her game.
She said she is also excited to face good teams in the Final Four.
“We will be playing some different people,” Schaefer said. “So it should be a pretty good tournament for us.”
Another player looking to have a big weekend is senior Amy Siemon.
She has had a difficult second half of the season going 3-8 in singles matches, but said she is hoping to redeem herself.
She also said she is really looking forward to is being on the team’s home courts.
“It’s going to be so nice,” Siemon said. “It’s really draining being in the car for six hours and then you have to play a match.”