MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's tennis team scored 16 points, earning a third-place finish at the WIAC Championship (Presented by Culver's), held at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium this weekend.
The final WIAC team standings are determined by using a combination of the regular-season dual meet standings and the WIAC Championship results. The finish in the regular-season standings accounts for one-third of the criteria, while the conference championship accounts for the remaining two-thirds. The Blugolds finished second in the dual meet standings with a 5-1 recorded heading into the weekend.
The two seed in the number one singles draw Natalie Wijesinghe (Apple Valley, MN) defeated Leah Hollander (UWSP) 6-0, 6-0 in her first round match. Wijesinghe advanced to the championship with her second round victory over Leffler (UWO) winning, 6-1,6-0. The junior fell to Gabi Kitchell (UWW) 6-0, 6-0 in the championship match.
Emily Cooper (White Bear, Minn.) finished in third place in the number two singles bracket. The sophomore defeated Dobbe (UWSP) 6-0, 6-0 in the first round, but lost to Clope (UWL) in the semi-final. Cooper won her third place match 6-1, 7-6 over Nelson (UWRF).
Molly Stewart (Amery, WI) also finished third in her bracket in number three singles. Stewart made quick work of Andress (UWRF) in her first round match, lost to bracket champion Palavra (UWW) in the second round, and defeated Koppa (UWO) in the third place match. Stewart was also awarded with the Judy Kruckman Scholar Athlete Award.
Hanna Zevenbergen(Baldwin, WI/ Baldwin-Woodville) finished third in the number four singles bracket and was named WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. Emma Barnd (Wells, Minn./ United South Central) finished fourth in her first WIAC Championship experience at number five singles, while Rachel Slonac (Muskego, Wis.) earned a third place finish in the number six singles bracket.
Wijesinghe and Copper entered the number one doubles draw as the number two seed. The pair defeated Hollander/Woelfel (UWSP) in round one 8-0, and took down Spahn/Clope (UWL) 8-4 to advance to the championship. The duo lost to Kitchell/Martin (UWW) 8-5 in the final. Stewart and Zevenbergen were the number one seed in the number two doubles bracket. The pair had a first round bye and defeated Koppa/Peters (UWO) 8-5 in the second round. Stewart and Zevenbergen lost to the number two doubles pair from UW-Whitewater in the championship 8-5. Alexa Brooks (Beaver Dam, Wis.) paired up with Lindsey Henderson (Prior Lake, Minn.) in the number three doubles bracket. As the three seed, the pair had a first round triumph over Wahlquist/Chamberlain (UWS), and lost to the draw champions from UW-La Crosse in the second round. The duo bounced back and took home the third place finish with an 8-1 victory over Jackson/Osmond (UWRF).
The top four teams from today's WIAC Championship will advance to a team tournament that will determine the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III championship. The team tournament will be held at the site of the overall conference champion prior to the NCAA championship next spring.