Women’s tennis finishes with winning record and high hopes

By Jordan Atkins

The Lawrence University (LU) Women’s Tennis team wrapped up its season last weekend at the Midwest Conference (MWC) Tournament. The doubles competition was on Saturday, Oct. 17, and the singles component of the tournament followed on Sunday.

After receiving a bye in round one, the Vikings’ number one doubles pair, consisting of Lilly Endsley and Shang Li, dropped its quarterfinal match to a duo from St. Norbert College. Endsley was without her regular doubles partner, Katie Frankel, who missed the tournament with a concussion. The new partners were able to redeem themselves with a consolation victory over Monmouth before ultimately losing to Cornell in the consolation final.

LU’s other doubles teams both won their opening round matchups over Beloit’s number two and number three twosomes 8-3. The partnerships for the Vikings were sophomore Lindsay Holsen and junior Elana Lambert, as well as freshmen Annie Harcinar and Katie Nottberg. However, both pairs of Vikings met defeat in the quarterfinals to St. Norbert and Carroll respectively.

When the team returned to action on Sunday, each player had to compete one flight higher than she had all year, due to Frankel’s injury. “Everyone won their singles matches, which was awesome,” said Endsley of the team’s impressive performance in round one. Lawrence’s number 2 through number 6 singles players all won in straight sets. Endsley’s opening matchup required a third set before she advanced.

Just like the day prior, the team’s luck ran out in the quarterfinals. All six Vikings lost in straight sets.

Lawrence finished the year with a record of 10-8, including a 5-5 record in conference play, placing them sixth overall. This was Lawrence’s first winning season since 2011. “We did really well overall over the conference season,” added Endsley. “We had to deal with obstacles, like injuries, and we all worked really well together.”

The season has left the team with plenty to build on going forward. Almost the entire roster will be returning next year along with a new recruiting class. “Our team is really young. We’re still developing, but we work really well together already,” said Endlsey.

The team will look to improve during the offseason by holding captain’s practices and working with the men’s tennis team. One focus for next season will be increasing aggressiveness near the net. The Vikings will try to move up in the final conference standings next fall.