It was just another dull day in Decorah, Iowa. Dull not because it was Decorah, Iowa, however, but dull because the women’s tennis team handed in yet another win. This week the Knights showed few signs of straying from their winning routine, first defeating St. Olaf 8-1 at home and following up with a bagel match against Luther College over the weekend in Decorah.
Finishing her match at a gazelle’s pace, #3 in the region Kathryn Schmidt ’12 started the team on the right foot against Olaf, conquering her Ole opponent easily at 6-0, 6-1. The rest of the Knights followed their captain’s lead as though she were Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society with confident wins all around.
Meanwhile, #21 ranked Bridget Doyle ’13 ignored the herd mentality, instead pushing through to a doozy of a match, closing out the night for Carleton with the evening lights descending on Bell Field. Despite her teammates cheering her on in the crisp evening air, Doyle charged into a third set tiebreaker to fall 6-3, 5-7, 11-9. In many ways this valiant loss is more rewarding for a tough player like Doyle who says of any match she enters, “I’m just thinking it’s gonna be tough, thinking I’m gonna have to work hard, play as hard as I can.”
Although these matches were presumably a breeze for the rolling Knights, Doyle added that, “As a whole, I think the team can do better playing in high pressure situations. People get really tight and if we just stayed loose throughout the whole thing we would have no trouble beating a lot of people.”
Perhaps this mindset is what the Lady Knights had in their arsenal when they crossed the border into Hawkeye territory for a match against Luther College. Without dropping a set in any of the nine matches, the Knights rounded out the week with a 9-0 win. Anne Lombardi ’14 and Doyle have improved to a #15 ranking in the region in doubles. For Lombardi, last week’s MIAC player of the week, these wins added to her impressive 14-0 combined singles and doubles record since spring break as she stubbornly refuses to give up a Was the season enters more heated play.
This heated play is what Katherine Greenberg ’14 relishes most. “I’m looking forward to the matches at the end of the year just because our conference matches have gone really well for us so far,” she said. For Greenberg, the Luther win symbolized the huge improvement she and the team have made this year. Last year against Luther, she was topped 8-0 in doubles. Molly Hemes ’14 posted an 8-1 doubles win for the Knights. Greenberg chalked up much of her improvement to the fact that she and Hemes “have gotten to know each other better and trust each other more,” a sentiment that has been graciously echoed this season as the team’s relationships only get stronger.
With these wins, the Knights improve to 13-5, and 7-0 in the MIAC. The team has also jumped ahead in national rankings to the #25 spot to become the only MIAC team to be ranked in the top 30 in the nation. Keeping these stellar skills in mind, come out and watch your Lady Knights this week as they play MIAC opponent the University of St. Thomas this Friday, April 20 at 4 pm at the Bell Field Tennis Courts in the Knights’ third-to-last match in the regular season.