On September 15, SMSU’s Women’s Tennis team traveled to St. Paul, MN to play at the Gustavus Adolphus College Invite.
The University of Mary, University of Sioux Falls, MSU-Moorhead, Gustavus Adolphus and St. Kate’s, all sent player to that tournament. Even with the large talent pool, SMSU players posted wins over several of the schools and the losses suffered by SMSU came down to a few key points.
“This was a great first event,” said head coach Andrew Cobb, “players should be proud of how they performed and use it as motivation for the upcoming weeks of practice and matches.”
The Women’s tennis team has a total of 6 players, with 1 freshman, 2 juniors and 3 sophomores. SMSU ended the invite with 4 overall wins in the singles play and 2 overall wins in the doubles play. Coach Cobb feels that the team will improve over the next five matches in the fall season and with more experience, really succeed in their spring season.
“There were some matches where players hit a mental wall and could not get over,” Cobb said, “but I’d rather the players have those situations now as opposed to having them during spring play.”
While talking about her doubles partner, sophomore Cora Delich, sophomore Gabby Potthoff said,
“Communication was a big deal and came into key today…It’s building each up and getting back to where we’re strongest.” Potthoff and Delich went 2-0 in their doubles play on day 2 (September 16).
Sophomore Oliva Watzke said, “My singles match went really well, it was quite the battle…I won 6-4 and then the second set was a little bit tougher I lost 1-6 and then 5-10 in the third set tie-break, but it was definitely, a battle and she is definitely a good player.” Watzke went on to play double with junior Paige Janka against two double players from Sioux Falls.
“I think that the Gustavus Invitational was a great experience for our team,” Watzke said, “…Now that we know that we need to work on, we should be ready for the next couple fall matches.
After the invitational, SMSU has 5 NSIC wins, 2 backdraw champions and 3 backdraw finalists. “I’m very happy with their performance,” coach Cobb said, “There were a few hurdles the players had to
mentally push through and forget about and many of them did just that and surprised themselves with their performance.” For September 23, SMSU’s Mustangs will head to River Falls, WI for an away match against Wisconsin-Stout.
Coach Cobb spoke on preparing the players for their upcoming matches.
“The big focus moving forward, from a coaching standpoint is to help them see their options when they are in a pressure situation and how to play smarter than their opponent in that specific situation,” Cobb said on his coaching plans as the fall season continues.
The women’s tennis team will be playing three home matches this fall on September 25, 30 and October 3. The home games will be played at the Marshall High School.