MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Four UW-Eau Claire student-athletes have been named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Athletes of the Week, WIAC Assistant Commissioner for Media Relations Matt Stanek announced today.
Selected as the conference's special teams player of the week for football was Tra Ross (Fr.-Quincy, Calif.). Blugold women's tennis players also swept the conference singles and doubles honors as Taylor Heltne (Sr.-Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley) was named singles player of the week while Gretchen Bachmeier (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./North) and Maddie Johnson (So.-Lakeville, Minn./South) were honored on the doubles side.
Ross returned kickoffs against No. 18-ranked UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 6. He returned seven of eight kickoffs and compiled 128 yards. In the third quarter, Ross had a return of 33 yards, his longest of the day. He also had one pass reception for 11 yards on the Blugolds' final play of the first half.
In two matches during the weekend, Heltne recorded two No. 1 singles victories against conference opponents, helping the Blugolds to two team wins. Against UW-Stevens Point on Oct. 5, a match the Blugolds won 9-0, Heltne secured a 6-1, 6-1 win over Rachel Brown. In an 8-1 victory against UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 6, she beat Preslee Nolte 6-3, 7-6. For the season, Heltne is 8-1 in dual competitions at No. 1 singles, winning eight straight.
Bachmeier and Johnson won two No. 2 doubles matches against WIAC opponents during the week, improving their season dual record in the No. 2 spot to 7-1. Against UW-Stevens Point on Oct. 5, a match the Blugolds won 9-0, the pair won 8-2. In an 8-1 triumph over UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 6, Bachmeier and Johnson defeated their UW-Oshkosh counterparts 8-4. The duo has won seven straight matches in dual competitions.