St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s tennis team concluded its 2014 regular season in dramatic fashion, battling back from a 4-2 deficit to capture a 5-4 win over the University of St. Thomas on Saturday afternoon at the Swanson Tennis Center. With the win, Gustavus finishes the year 15-5 overall and 8-2 in the MIAC, while St. Thomas falls to 13-3 overall and 7-2 in league play.
The Tommies took two of the three doubles matches to take the early 2-1 lead. Gustavus’s lone win in the doubles competition came from the first-year duo of Michaela Schulz (Elk River, Minn.) and Lizzy Stanczyk (Plymouth, Wis.), who defeated Shelby Henderson and Paige Becher 8-6 at No. 2.
St. Thomas then won two of the first three singles matches to take a 4-2 lead. Although Schulz took care of business at first singles with a straight set win over Henderson (6-1, 6-3), the Tommies captured points at the fifth and sixth positions to extend their lead.
With St. Thomas needing just one more win with three matches still in progress, the Gusties engineered a comeback. Sidney Dirks (So., St. Peter, Minn.) got things started when she defeated Rachel Wright (6-4, 6-1) at fourth singles to cut the lead to 4-3. Lizzy Stanczyk then tied the match at 4-4 when she notched a huge win in a tightly contested battle at fifth singles. Stanczyk fought her way to a 7-5 win in the first set before taking the second set in a tiebreaker 7-5 (8-6).
It all came down to steady junior Laurel Krebsbach (North Oaks, Minn.) at second singles. After falling 6-4 in the first set, Krebsbach faced an uphill battle. The junior came back to score a 6-3 victory in the second set to push the match into a super breaker, where she and her opponent Bridget Noack battled back and forth in a fitting end to the match. Krebsbach outlasted Noack to capture a 14-12 win in the breaker to giver her team the victory.
Gustavus will now await the announcement of the MIAC Playoff field. The conference playoffs are set to begin on Tuesday, April 29th.