MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's tennis team had two WIAC champions, and scored 18 points to earn a second 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 one seed in the number one singles draw Natalie Wijesinghe (Apple Valley, MN) got a bye her first round and then matched up with the winner of the the 4 seed (A. Leffler/UWO) and the 5 seed (I. Kranz/UWRF). Wijesinghe went on to defeat A. Leffler (UWO) 6-1, 6-4. The senior then went on to win the WIAC championship in the #1 singles after defeating K. Steinert (UWL) 6-3, 6-2.
The Blugolds had a great WIAC tournament, having several players advance to the championship round. Including, Elaine Franta (Fr.—White Bear Lake, MN) who had a great tournament for the Blugolds at the #4 singles, defeating her UW-Stout and UWL opponents to eventually fall in the championship round in a hard-fought battle to J. Minkov (UWW) 6-3, 7-5. Also, Alexa Brooks (So.—Beaver Dam, WI) at the #5 singles. Brooks advanced all the way to the championship round to fall to M. Slicker (UWW) in a close match 4-6, 6-4, 11-9. Teammate Emma Barnd (So.—Wells, MN/ United South Central) also moved past all of her opponents to advance to the championship round and fell to E. Ha (UWW) 6-2, 6-0.
At the #2 singles Emily Cooper (Jr.—White Bear Lake, MN/ Mahtomedi) defeated O. Watzke (UWRF) 7-6, 6-0 in the 5th place game for the Blugolds. Lindsey Henderson (So.—Prior Lake, MN) moved past the first round in the number 3 singles after defeating E. Wentzel (UW-Stout) 6-2, 6-2 and then eventually falling in the second round to K. Hierl (UWL) 3-6, 6-0, 10-6.
The Blugolds had a great day at the doubles as well, having every doubles pair advance to the championship, their #1 doubles Wijesinghe/Cooper advancing to the championship to face Koppa/Hodyl (UWO) and defeating them 8-2 to win the championship.
At the #2 doubles Henderson/Franta advanced past their UWL and UW-Stout opponents to eventually fall in the championship to Rueth/Setter (WW) 8-5. Their teammates at the #3 doubles Brooks/Barnd also had a great weekend breezing past their opponents in the first two rounds to match up with Kraft/Day (UWW) in the finals to eventually fall 8-4.
In addition, Kennedy Rusk (So.—Nisswa, MN/ Brainerd) was named to the All- Sportsmanship Team. The tournament wraps up the fall season for the Blugolds who will begin their spring season in February.