St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s tennis team is set to host the University of St. Thomas in the semifinals of the 2014 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women’s Tennis Playoffs on Thursday afternoon in St. Peter. Weather permitting, the match will be played outside on the Brown Tennis Courts, but will move inside the Swanson Tennis Center if needed. Thursday’s start time is set for 4:30 p.m.
Gustavus enters the match with an overall record of 15-5 and 8-2 in the MIAC, while St. Thomas comes in with a record of 15-3 overall and 8-2 in league play. The Gusties earned their way into the semifinals by securing the No. 2 seed and received a bye in the quarterfinals, which were held on Tuesday.
As the third seed in the bracket, the Tommies needed to win on Tuesday to keep their season alive, defeating sixth-seeded Saint Benedict in a 5-0 decision to survive and advance. In that match, St. Thomas outlasted the Blazers to sweep all three doubles matches before capturing straight-set wins at first and third singles.
Thursday’s contest is a rematch of Gustavus’s last match played just four days ago. In that contest, the Tommies grabbed an early lead, taking two of the three doubles matches. St. Thomas then extended its lead to 4-2 at the midway point in the singles competition. With their backs against the wall, the Gustie women came roaring back to capture a dramatic 5-4 win.
Sidney Dirks ignited the comeback with a straight-set win over Rachel Wright (6-4, 6-1) at fourth singles. Lizzy Stanczyk followed with a gritty performance to win at fifth singles (7-5, 7-6) to tie the match. With the outcome riding on the match at second singles, steady junior Laurel Krebsbach came through with a huge win to give her team the victory. After falling behind with a 6-4 loss in the first set, Krabsbach came back to win 6-3 in the second and took a back-and-forth super breaker 14-12 for the thrilling triumph.
Thursday’s winner will move on to the MIAC Playoff Championship, which will be played on Saturday, May 3rd against the winner of top-seeded Carleton and fourth-seeded St. Catherine. The highest remaining seed will host the playoff final at 1:00 p.m.