Women’s tennis take third at MWC Championships

Beth Larsen

The Lawrence University women’s tennis team traveled to Rockford, Ill. last weekend to compete in the Midwest Conference Championships. Several girls progressed far into the singles and doubles tournament play, and the team took third overall in the conference.

Friday night, the Vikings competed against Grinnell College in the Midwest Conference Team Semifinals. The Vikings lost 0-5 to the Grinnell Pioneers, leaving four matches unfinished. The doubles competition was extremely close.

Polly Dalton and Carla Schmidt played a tough match in the No. 2 doubles competition but lost 7-9 to Grinnell’s Alarcon and Macdonald. Hannah Geoffrey and Christina Schaupp also played a close match, barely losing (6-8) in the No. 3 doubles competition.

Geoffrey and Dalton lost fairly quickly at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively, giving Grinnell a five-point lead and an automatic win, which ended the remaining singles matches early.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Vikings came back fired up for the Midwest Conference Individual Championship competitions. At No. 1 singles, senior captain Beth Larson defeated Knox’s Megan Funk 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals and moved on to a swift victory over Grinnell’s Sadhana Athreya (6-2, 6-0) in the semifinals.

Larson took the No. 1 singles championship with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Carroll’s Abigail Pellett in the finals. Jennifer Roesch lost in 3 sets in the No. 2 singles quarterfinals to Lake Forest’s Gracie Mullins (4-6, 6-2, 4-6). She came back in the consolation semifinals to beat Ripon (8-0) and took the consolation finals with an 8-2 victory over Monmouth’s Tessa Ginn, earning her fifth in the No. 2 singles competition.

At No. 3 singles, Gayatri Malhotra went 1-2 for the day, losing to Carroll’s Kate Rasmussen in the consolation finals. Christina Schaupp went 3-0 for the day at No. 4 singles, taking first place in the No. 4 singles competition. She swept Beloit’s Taylor Jones (6-0, 6-0) in the quarterfinals and moved on to defeat Carroll (6-0, 6-4) and Grinnell (6-2, 6-3) to take the No. 4 singles championship.

Hannah Geoffrey went 2-1 to earn her second place at No. 5 singles. She defeated both her opponents from Carroll and St. Norbert, but lost a close match in the finals to Grinnell’s Hannah Feldman (7-5, 2-6, 4-6). At No. 6 singles, Dalton lost to Beloit in the quarter finals, but came back to win the consolation finals (8-1) against Ripon’s Olivia Wetzel.

The Vikings performed extremely well in the doubles competition. The No. 1 doubles Larson/Roesch duo took the doubles championship. They defeated Beloit (6-2, 6-0) in the quarterfinal and Carroll (6-2, 2-6, 6-2) in the semifinal. They took the championship with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Grinnell’s Athreya and Krull. Dalton and Schmidt defeated Lake Forest at No. 2 doubles (6-2, 6-3) but lost in the semifinals against Grinnell (0-6, 6-2, 4-6). Schaupp and Geoffrey made it to the No. 3 doubles final competition but lost to Grinnell 4-6, 0-6.

The Vikings ended their season 3rd in the conference. When asked to comment on the outcome of the season, Larson noted, “We had a successful season and worked well as a team. There are only better things to come from the Lawrence tennis program.”

The team is still pretty young, with seven freshmen on the roster. They did an amazing job this season and experience will only make the Vikings stronger, so we can expect great things from the women’s tennis program in the years to come.