SMSU’s tennis team won their first home match against Iowa’s Northwestern College. The September 26 match ended with an 8-1 victory for SMSU.
“For a fall opener, it was a great performance,” head coach Andrew Cobb said.
The Mustangs opened with a 3-0 lead, winning all three of their double rounds. The team also won four of their six singles and NWC forfeited No. 6 single.
“In doubles play we were tested, which was good for us,” Cobb said. “The players knew what they needed to focus on, to stay disciplined during points, and keep their energy up throughout the entire doubles match.”
Sophomore Olivia Watze and junior Hannah Starke scored an 8-6 win with their double.
Sophomore Cora Delich and sophomore Gabby Potthoff won their No. 2 double with an 8-1 score. NWC forfeited the No. 3 double completing SMSU’s sweep of the doubles.
“It was great to see Hannah Starke and Olivia Watzke really focus up and hone in on what their game plan was to close out the set in our favor,” Cobb said. “It was even better to see what we had been practicing be executed successfully in a match setting.”
The Mustangs performed well in their singles as well. Delich struggled but ultimately won against Jacque Ingram at the No. 1 single. Watzke lost after a hard fought match against Zoe Holscher in the single.
“At the #2 singles line, Olivia Watzke lost 4-6, 7-6(5), 10-1 and it simply came down to the more experienced player walking away with the win,” Cobb said. “And I do think that even though the match didn’t go in Olivia’s favor, she didn’t lose – she got beat, and there’s a big difference between the two.”
SMSU secured victories in their remaining singles. Starke won over Roschelen Cordona and Potthoff beat Emma Van Drie in the number 3 and 4 singles. Junior Paige Janka beat Abby Petnick in the No. 5 single.
“It was a good first match. We had a good turnout. It was good for us to work on skills outside with the Marshall wind,” Olivia Watze said.
SMSU looks to repeat the success of their first home match on Oct. 3. For the last fall match, the Mustangs will host the Mount Marty Lancers.