Photo Gallery (courtesy of Julie Mall)
CARY, N.C. – The collegiate career for Carleton College senior Kathryn Schmidt (Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) came to an end following an opening-round defeat in the singles bracket at the NCAA Championships. Schmidt lost in three sets to Laura Danzig of Amherst College by a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 score. This is the fourth consecutive year that Schmidt qualified for the national singles tournament.
Today’s match featured a pair of players ranked No. 3 in their respective regions, Schmidt in the Central and Danzig in the Northeast Region. Danzig later advanced to the quarterfinals with a second-round straight-sets triumph.
Schmidt went 76-19 overall in singles matches during her career, with 14 of those setbacks coming against ranked opponents and the other five versus Division I or Division II foes. She went 22-6 this season and finished with a spectacular 37-1 mark against MIAC Competition, all at first singles. She also enjoyed a four-year 75-22 combined record at first doubles, including 37-2 during MIAC matches.
Schmidt is the third Carleton tennis player to advance to the national tournament all four years, joining Dave Treichel ’87 and Tom James ’89 as the only Knights known to accomplish this feat. Schmidt had been tied with Leslie Gale ’91 and Marcia Hunt ’92 for most NCAA Championships appearances (3) by a member of the women’s program.
As a rookie in 2009, Schmidt fell in the first round to eventual semifinalist Jackie Schtemberg of The College of New Jersey. A year later, she returned to the tournament, losing in her opening match to quarterfinalist Nicole Pontee of Vassar College. Last spring, Schmidt came up short against eventual national champion and former Division I player Kristin Lim of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Today’s loss ends a historic season for the Knights. At No. 30 in the most recent national team rankings, Carleton wrested the MIAC regular-season crown away from 20-time champion Gustavus Adolphus College, then beat the Gusties in the MIAC Playoffs for the trip to nationals, where the Knights defeated Grinnell College in the opening round.
“Kathryn had a tremendous year,” said Carleton head coach Luciano Battaglini. “Today’s weather was hot and humid. It made for tough, challenging conditions before you even step on the court.
“In the first set, her opponent played really, really well. Kathryn hung in there and played a very good second set. The third set was closer than the score shows. Her opponent just played a little better on a few of the big points, and that was the difference.”
While the Knights will lose Schmidt and three-time All-MIAC selection Erin Gudul (Sr./North Oaks, Minn./Mounds View) to graduation, Carleton will return four other all-conference performers for the 2012-13 campaign.