Hot men's and women's tennis teams winning early, often

By Nate Wilson-Traisman

Coming off losing 2007 campaigns, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams are off to much improved starts.After a 6-12 overall finish last season, the women’s team is 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC. The Scots most recent triumph was an 8-1 victory over St. Mary’s in Winona. Angie Horner ’10 got the day started with a dominating win in straight sets (6-1, 6-1) at number one singles. Stephanie Lee ’10 and Amanda Wenzel ’10 also coasted to easy victories. Lee won 6-0, 6-4 at number two singles, and Wenzel won 6-0, 6-2 at number three.

On the doubles side, the regionally ranked duo of Horner and Lee took an 8-5 victory, while the number three doubles team of Anna Peschel ’08 and Becky Schneider ’09 coasted to an 8-1 win.

“So far the season has been going really well,” Lee said. “I guess I didn’t have too many expectations before the season started. But given the skill and depth of the team, coming into the season I figured we would win a lot, and so far we’ve been doing that.”

In their first MIAC meet of the season, women’s tennis reversed their fortunes from last year against St. Olaf, beating their Northfield rival 6-3. Horner and Lee were strong up front for the Scots, winning at the number one and number two singles positions and triumphing in their doubles match. With their two early victories, the women have a serious shot at landing one of the six MIAC playoff spots.

The visible improvement on the men’s side has been equally, if not more impressive. After finishing 0-9 in MIAC play last season, the Scots are currently 2-2 overall, and 1-1 in conference. After a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to St. Olaf, Macalester rallied by defeating St. Mary’s on Sunday. With the win, Macalester clinched its first MIAC victory since 2005 while simultaneously snapping a 19-match losing streak in the conference.

“The season thus far has been one of extraordinary heart-break and glorious triumph,” number one singles player Brad Goldstein ’08 said. “Some may call me overly optimistic, but I expected us to go undefeated this season.”

The Scots dropped two of their three doubles matches, but rallied by winning four of their six singles matches.

Aaron Heerboth ’08 got the ball rolling, recording a 6-3, 6-4 victory at number two singles. The Scots also claimed victories at fourth, fifth and sixth singles, which proved to be the deciding factor in the MIAC win. Justin Margolies ’11 won 6-4, 6-3 at number four, Charlie Edelman ’09 took a 6-2, 7-5 decision at number five, while Michael Coleman ’10 also won in straight sets registering a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

“Captain Aaron Heerboth has been playing beyond expectation at number two,” Goldstein said. “He keeps a stone-cold demeanor on the court but plays with courage and grace.”

Macalester’s lone doubles win was at the number three slot, with Edelman and Coleman winning 8-4.

The women return to action Saturday against St. Catherine (0-3 overall, 0-2 MIAC). The men will have some substantial time off before facing off against perennial MIAC power Gustavus (5-1, 1-0) on March 8.