St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s tennis team swept all three doubles matches and did not look back on its way to a 5-1 win over St. Thomas in the semifinals of the MIAC Women’s Tennis Playoffs on Thursday afternoon at the Swanson Tennis Center. With the win, the second-seeded Gusties advance to the MIAC Playoff Championship on Saturday, May 3rd and will take on top-seeded Carleton at 1:00 p.m., in Northfield, Minn.
Gustavus opened the match with an 8-1 win at No. 2 doubles. The rookie pair of Michaela Schulz (Elk River, Minn.) and Lizzy Stanczyk (Plymouth, Wis.) took control early, grabbing a 3-0 lead before breezing to the win.
The duo from St. Peter in Sidney Dirks (So., St. Peter, Minn.) and Calleigh Carlson (Fy., St. Peter, Minn.) followed with an 8-3 win at No. 3 doubles. A 2-1 lead quickly opened up to a 4-1 lead and it was downhill from there to give the Gustie women a 2-0 lead in the match.
Juniors Laurel Krebsbach (North Oaks, Minn.) and Annie Mahoney (Duluth, Minn.) finished off the doubles sweep with an 8-5 win at No. 1 doubles. The Gustie pair held just a 5-4 lead at one point in the match before rattling off three of the last four games to take the win.
In singles, Lizzy Stanczyk got things started with a straight-set win at the third position. After trailing 3-2 in the first set, the first-year came back to score each of the last four games and win the set 6-3. She then wasted little time asserting herself in the second set, opening up a 4-1 lead on her way to a 6-2 win, giving Gustavus a 4-1 lead.
St. Thomas got its lone point of the match at fifth singles. After Annie Mahoney opened up a 5-2 lead in the first set, Tommie Paige Becher came roaring back to take each of the final five games to capture a 7-5 win. The second set was all Becher, who went on to take the set 6-0 and cut the Gustavus lead to 4-1.
However, Sidney Dirks picked her teammate up with a straight-set win at fourth singles to secure the victory. Dirks won took a tightly contested first set 6-3 before controlling the second set in a 6-1 win. In the set, Dirks fell behind 1-0 before taking each of the next six games on the way to clinching the match and sending her team to the MIAC Playoff Championship.
Saturday’s championship against Carleton will be held in Northfield, Minn., at the Bell Field Courts beginning at 1:00 p.m.