Women’s Tennis Competes At USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by

Laurel Krebsbach and Michaela Schulz both represented Gustavus in the semi-finals of the ITA main singles draw this past weekend.

St. Peter, Minn. – Members of the Gustavus Adolphus women’s tennis team competed in the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships and the Gustavus Fall Invitational held this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Gustavus Adolphus College. More than 100 of the top players from the midwest took part in the two tournaments.

“I was very proud with how all of our women played this weekend,” said head coach Jon Carlson. “They’ve been working incredibly hard this fall to improve individually and as a team and I think they proved to themselves that the hard work is paying off and that they will only get better if they keep it up.”

Six Gusties competed in the tournament’s main singles draw including senior Laurel Krebsbach, juniors Sid Dirks and Lizzy Stanczyk, sophomore Michaela Schulz and first-years Katie Aney and Ally Baker. Schulz and Krebsbach were two of 16 players that were seeded in a singles draw that featured over 70 players.

Krebsbach rolled through the first three rounds of the tournament, defeating Olivia Heitz of Luther College 6-2, 6-0, Alicia Beck of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 6-1, 6-1 and Megan Johnson of the University of Northwestern 6-2, 6-0. Krebsbach then faced fourth-seeded Shelby Henderson of the University of St. Thomas in the quarterfinals. She found herself down 4-1 in the first set, but fought back to tie the score at 5-5 before eventually going on to win the set 7-6 (4) as well as the second set 6-3. Krebsbach faced even stiffer competition in her semifinal match where she took on 2013 champion and No. 1 seed Megan Humphreys of UW-Whitewater. Krebsbach pushed Humphreys in the opening set, but eventually lost 6-4 before being defeated 6-2 in the second set.

“I’m proud of how far I made it,” said Krebsbach. “ITA’s is not an easy tournament to get through both physically and mentally. My match against Megan didn’t go exactly like I wanted, but she played really well. I fought every point and that’s all you can do at the end of the day.”

Schulz had similar results to Krebsbach, marching through the first three rounds by defeating Kezia Koroma of Cornell College 6-0, 6-2, Jenna Zimmerman of St. Thomas 6-2, 6-3 and Joyce Yu of Carleton College 6-2, 6-2. Schulz then faced ninth-seed Bridgid McGuire of UW-Whitewater and cruised in the first set 6-3, but was pushed to her limit in the second set before eventually coming away with a 7-6 (5) victory. Schulz faced fifth-seeded Bridget Bellissimo of UW-La Crosse in the semifinals, but after a marathon match, was eventually defeated 1-6, 6-3, 6-7 (4).

“I feel as though I played extremely well,” said Schulz. “I pushed myself to my limits and applied things I have been working on all summer.”

Gustavus was the only school in the 25-team draw to have two players reach the semi-finals.

Stanczyk, who was playing in her first USTA/ITA Midwest Regional, also found success. She was defeated in her opening round match by Alex Talyansky of Whitewater 6-2, 4-6, (7-10), but didn’t see the loss column for the rest of the tournament.  She defeated Lizzy Carroll of Concordia-Wisconsin 6-0, 6-2, Julia Thome of Cornell 6-4, 7-5 (5), Nicole Pothen and Colleen McCullough of UW-Eau Claire 7-6 (2), 6-3 and 4-6, 6-4 (10-6), respectively, and Katherine Ross of Wartburg College 6-0, 6-3 en route to winning the consolation championship.

Baker also turned heads in her ITA debut. The first-year took on top Carleton player Claire Spencer in the first round and won the first set 6-2 and had several match points before eventually being overtaken by the veteran Spencer 7-6 (3) in the second set. Spencer then clinched the match by winning the 10-point tie breaker 10-5. However, Baker rebounded to win two matches in consolation play before eventually falling in the consolation semifinals to Kimmy Mrozek of UW-La Crosse 7-5, 6-1.

Dirks and Aney also garnered two victories apiece by each winning their first two matches before falling to seeded players. Dirks defeated Coe’s Laura Birky 6-2, 6-1 and Macalester’s Megan O’Herin 6-1, 6-0. She then faced Haleigh McPeek of Carthage and fell in a nail-biter by a score of 6-4, 4-6, 10-8. Aney picked up a quick win in her first round match over Jordan Danielson of Hamline 6-0, 6-2, but had a more difficult time in her second match against Max Mella of Carthage before coming away with a hard-fought 5-7, 6-0, 10-5 victory. Aney then faced St. Olaf’s Lisa Hall and was defeated 6-1, 6-4.

“I definitely think we made a statement this weekend,” said Schulz. “We fought our hearts out in so many matches, pushed so many good players to their limits and never once did we give up, whether we won or lost. I couldn’t be prouder of my teammates.”

“I think we turned some heads with the talent we’ve brought together this year,” said Krebsbach. “I’m excited for the spring to really show off what this team can do.”

“What’s really exciting is that this is only the start of our season,” added Carlson. “I’m so excited to build on what we started this past weekend as we move forward into the final stretch of our fall season.”

Gustavus will be back in action this weekend when it travels to Omaha to compete in the University of Nebraska-Omaha Invitational.


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