NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College women’s tennis team moved up four spots in the latest ITA national rankings to No. 25 and celebrated with a convincing 8-1 victory over cross-town rival and regionally-ranked St. Olaf College. With the triumph, the Knights became the first squad to clinch a berth in next month’s MIAC Playoffs.
Kathryn Schmidt (Sr./Hopkins, Minn./Hopkins), Molly Hemes (So./Green Bay, Wis./Preble), Katherine Greenberg (So./St. Louis, Mo./Clayton), and reigning MIAC player-of-the-week Anne Lombardi (So./Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) each improved to 7-0 in conference singles matches.
The Knights (12-5, 7-0 MIAC) quickly seized control of the competition by sweeping the three doubles matches. Schmidt and Erin Gudul (Sr./North Oaks, Minn./Mounds View) proved worthy of being ranked No. 10 in the region with an 8-2 triumph. Lombardi and Bridget Doyle (Jr./Mendota Heights, Minn./Visitation) took over the No. 15 spot in the regional rankings, then went out and improved to 7-0 in doubles play with a shutout at second doubles. Hemes and Greenberg notched an 8-4 win at the third spot.
In singles, Schmidt, the third-ranked player in the region, quickly dispatched of Christine Muller, 6-0 and 6-1. Lombardi improved to 15-2 with a straight set win at third singles. Gudul, Hemes, and Greenberg also needed the minimum number of sets to pick up victories.
The lone St. Olaf point came at second singles where Caitlin Harper prevailed over Doyle in a super-tiebreaker 6-3, 5-7, 11-9. The Oles (8-1, 5-1 MIAC) lost for the first time this season.
The Knights travel to Luther College, ranked No. 15 in the region, on Saturday, April 14. Carleton then closes the regular season with a trio of MIAC matches over the following two weeks. The conference tournament is scheduled for May 4-5 in St. Peter, Minn.