Five in a row for women’s tennis

For the fifth straight year, the UW-Whitewater women’s tennis team captured the conference championship title, after sweeping all six singles flights and all three double flights.

The sweep marked only the third time this was done in WIAC history, with the ’Hawks doing it in 2008.

The Warhawk tennis team celebrates after capturing their fifth straight WIAC championship. The ’Hawks swept all six singles flights along with all three double flights, marking the third time that has happened in WIAC history. Photo submitted by WIAC Sports Information

“Obviously it went well as good as it could have,” Head Coach Frank Barnes said. “This doesn’t happen very often in the history of the WIAC, its only happened two other times.”

After dominating day one of the championship, which advanced every player to the semifinals and finals, the impressive play carried over to day two.

In the semis, no player lost more than three games. Sophomore Alexandra Bayliss was the only player to win without going to four games, but then finished with a come-from-behind win.

Senior Kalla Schaefer earned her second straight singles title at the No. 1 spot, while earning her third title in doubles, making her just the third individual in women’s tennis league history to record three titles at the No. 1 spot.

“I was very happy with my results at the tournament this year,” Schaefer said. “It was nice to end my fall season on a successful note.”

Schaefer also won the Judy Kruckman Scholar Athlete award, a combination between academics, volunteer work and athletic accomplishments. Schaefer is the seventh tennis player in school history to receive this award.

Annie Smith and Sydney Divelbiss also received their second straight singles title at the No. 2 and 3 spot, respectively.

Barnes said he couldn’t have been more proud of the girls after facing tough competition in the championship.

“I thought all of the players were focused, they didn’t take anybody lightly even if they beat them earlier in the season,” Barnes said. “I like the way they prepared the week coming in. It’s pretty tough because in every draw, there is at least three or four good players or teams in there and especially with the way we’ve been dominating in conference all these teams are out to get us. For each of our players to hold on and to win with any flight was really impressive.”

Finishing the season with an undefeated record (11-0) and their fifth straight WIAC title, Barnes said this team is probably the best team he’s coached.

“I knew this would be one of those chances to have one of the best teams I’ve ever coached,” Barnes said. “I had some pretty high expectations coming into this season, but to do what we have done..I would say this is the best team I’ve ever coached and they proved it this last weekend.”

The ladies will start the spring season in early March.

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