The Gustavus women’s tennis team returns all but one player from a team that posted a record of 30-3 in 2005 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Team Championship. Coach Jon Carlson returns a squad which features All-Americans Tara Houlihan, Lyndsey Palen, Lauren Hom, Marla Menne, and Jaime Gaard and the team has hopes of winning a conference title and advancing to the NCAA Championships once again.
Gustavus began its 2006 campaign with a 7-2 loss against BYU-Hawaii on February 2 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Gusties will now begin a nine-match homestand. Gustavus will then travel to Drake University (3/11) in Des Moines, IA before arriving home for another string of six straight home matches.
The Gusties will be looking to win their 15th consecutive MIAC team title under current head coach Jon Carlson. Gustavus is also riding a 145-match winning streak in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference duals.
Tara Houlihan and Lyndsey Palen won the NCAA Division III Doubles Championship to cap off last spring’s season for the Gusties. Houlihan and Palen defeated teammates Lauren Hom and Kara Smiley 6-0, 6-3. Houlihan and Palen were the first doubles team from the MIAC to ever win a national women’s individual tennis title.
This past fall, junior Jaime Gaard won the ITA Midwest Regional singles title after defeating Hom in the finals. Meanwhile, Hom joined forces with senior teammate Marla Menne to win the ITA Midwest Regional doubles title. Hom and Menne went on to win the NCAA Division III Doubles Championship at the ITA Small College Championships held in Fort Myers, Florida.
Gustavus will return three All-America selections in Hom, Houlihan and Palen. Houlihan studied abroad in Ecuador first semester but has since returned and will play #1 singles and #1 doubles with Palen. Lauren Hom will play #2 singles and #2 doubles with Menne. Gaard, Palen, and Menne will fill the #3, #4, and #5 spots although the exact order has not been determined. Competing for the #6 spot will be juniors Darcy Haubrick and Hannah Frericks, and sophomore Jenni White. Coach Carlson has a deep and talented lineup that will once again be considered one of the top teams in the country.