Women's tennis edged

By Ian Ritz

A youthful Macalester women’s tennis team has enjoyed success so far this season despite their relative inexperience. On a team comprised mostly of first years and sophomores, the Scots have struggled with some early season losses against conference opponents, but have gotten better as the season has progressed. The MIAC, led by perennial power Gustavus, is one of the most competitive conferences in the country. There are still several weeks left in the season, but the Scots have already won more total matches at this point than they did all of last year.

When asked about the team’s performance of late, Anna Peschel ’08 said, “Overall things are good. We’ve definitely improved from the beginning of the season.”

March 25, the team traveled to Moorhead, Minn. to face Concordia College and came away with a close 5-4 victory—their first conference win of the season. The Scots’ Megan Walsh ’09 won a 6-0, 6-4 decision at the top of the singles lineup to set the stage for the Scots. Peschel won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles and Becky Nieber ’09 also won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 4 singles.

Last weekend, the Scots traveled the short distance to play against St. Kates. Mac lost 7-2 but gained more experience for the young players and again showed signs of improvement. Becky Schneider ’09 earned a 6-4, 6-1 victory at No. 5 singles to lead the Scots.

Peschel credits much of their form to new coach Jason Muhl who now coaches both the men and women’s teams. “Our coach has made a lot of improvements. We have more focused practices. They are more intense but he has a positive attitude and it is a lot more fun.” She also was quick to point out that team chemistry has helped the Scots along the way. “We have a good team dynamic. Everybody has fun together which makes things even better.”

The women lost a heartbreaker against Bethel on April 5. The Scots were edged 5-4 by their opponents as the final match came down to a super tiebreaker.

On April 12, the team will play nonconference rival Northwestern (Minn.) for the second time this season. They opened their season with a win at Northwestern on February 4. A winnable match, the Scots hope to carry some momentum heading into the end of the season and toward the conference tournament.

The women’s schedule lists a string of non-MIAC teams for the next three matches over a homestand April 12-13. First the team will play Northwestern, followed by UM-Crookston and UM-Morris in a double header. These teams should give the women more experience and time to prepare for their next MIAC match against Carleton, and the rest of the MIAC season.