Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Warhawk tennis triumphs against a familiar foe

John Hynst
Luke VanDonslear goes for a backhand return during his doubles match.

The UW-Whitewater tennis team is sizzling with success as they blaze through the early stages of their season, notching an impressive record of eight wins and just one loss. Their only setback came at the hands of a top-ranked opponent, Washington University in St. Louis. They would enter this week ranked as the No. 22 team in the nation and looking to rise in the ranks.

They would face some of their toughest competition yet the No. 12 ranked Gustavus Adolphus College and a familiar foe. Gustavus Adolphus College got the better of the Warhawks in the past years, eliminating the Warhawks from last year’s NCAA tournament.

The last time the Warhawks won was March 5, 2016. Faced with the daunting task the Warhawks would rise to the moment and perform.

They would be down at the end of the doubles matches one to two with Theo Billson out of Brighton, United Kingdom, and Drew Van Fossen out of Germantown, Wisconsin, picking up the doubles point for the Warhawks

However, the Warhawks would respond with captain Luke VanDonslear winning in the first singles match.

“I was calm because I knew we were so close to winning that doubles match by having five or six match points and I knew we played well so I stayed composed and ready to compete,” VanDonslear said.

VanDonslear wouldn’t be the only Warhawk to win in their singles match. The Warhawks picked up valuable wins from Tyler Nelson and Reuben Giorgio to bring the total to 4-3 with two matches still in progress. These last matches would be Theo Billson and Drew Van Fossen. Van Fossen would drop his match in the third set but would play hard till the end.

I stay focused and composed during my match because of my assistant coach Grant and I have a very solid plan for my game and if I can execute it then I have given myself the best opportunity to win. Also, my opponent had all the pressure during those moments because I was winning my service games very convincingly,” Billson said of his composure during his singles match.

The freshman Billson would be the one to seal the match for the Warhawks in a dominant third set, winning six to three to give the Warhawks the upset.

I was feeling confident and not nervous going into the third set because I had my teammate Drew on the court next to me fighting to stay in his match. I knew that if I lost then he would be able to come through and win,” Billson said.

“The biggest thing my teammates and I can do is just to keep practicing hard each week and not let this win get to our heads because every team we play wants a piece of us and we can get complacent or it will cost us,” VanDonslear on the team’s mentality moving forward.

Coming off this big win, the Warhawks will go on a road trip to Indiana to face Wabash College and DePauw University on Saturday, March 16.

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About the Contributors
Dan Emary
Dan Emary, Men's Sports Editor
John Hynst
John Hynst, Business Manager

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