UWO women’s tennis team rebounds after loss

Isaac Mazanka and Morgan Van Lanen

“This past weekend, the UW Oshkosh women’s tennis team lost for the first time this season as they went 2-1 against three different opponents.
UWO inched past St. Norbert College 5-4 on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Western Racquet and Fitness Club in Green Bay.
Junior Paige Ganser, freshman Alyssa Leffler, and freshman Samantha Koppa combined to get wins in singles play against the Green Knights.
After falling to UW-La Crosse on Friday, Sept. 16, Leffler described what kinds of things she did to ensure wins on both Saturday and Sunday. She defeated St. Norbert’s Meg Witt 6-1 and 6-2 in No. 5 singles.
“I changed my playing strategy and settled down to make sure I made less unforced errors,” Leffler said.
In doubles, two of the three pairs came away with victories. No. 1 doubles comprised of sophomore Hannah Peters and junior Bailey Sagen defeated their opponent 8-3, while No. 2 doubles made up by Koppa and Leffler recorded an 8-5 win.
Sophomore Annie Docter and Ganser, who make up No. 3 doubles, fell to the Green Knights 2-8.
Leffler said her style of play differs dramatically when competing in doubles compared to singles.
“To me, there’s a huge difference between doubles and singles,” Leffler said. “In singles, you only have yourself, so that means there’s no one to talk to and it’s more of a mental game. In doubles, I have a partner who is very positive. We always make each other laugh and work together to come up with strategies to find a way to win.”
This was the 16th time in the last 23 matches that St. Norbert College fell to the UWO women’s tennis team.
The Titans also beat UW-River Falls 7-2 on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Kolf Sports Center outdoor courts in Oshkosh.
Koppa said her team brought a lot of energy on Saturday, as they wanted to rebound after losing to a conference rival.
“We went in positive for the match on Saturday,” Koppa said. “We knew we were a strong team and that [UW-River Falls] was a team we really wanted to beat.”
Leffler contributed to the four-of-five singles play victories by winning all 12 of her games against UWRF’s Anna Ebensperger in No. 4 singles.
No. 1 singles Sagen swept her opponent 6-1 and 6-3. Peters, Docter and Koppa combined to beat their opponents 36-12.
Freshman Monica Micoliczyk was the only UWO singles player who was defeated when she fell to her River Falls match up in the sixth flight as the No. 6 single.
At No. 1 doubles, Sagan and Peters crushed their opponents 8-2, and at No. 2 doubles Koppa and Leffler won in an 8-2 defeat.
Micoliczyk and her partner sophomore Ashlee Polena lost in No. 3 doubles with a score of 4-8.
In their first conference game of the year, the tennis team fell to La Crosse 0-9 on Friday, Sept. 16 at the YMCA Tennis Center in Oshkosh.
Head coach Robert Henshaw said he is not worried about falling to the Eagles because he believes his team played better than the overall score shows.
“Last year La Crosse was the second best team in our conference,” Henshaw said. “We had the opportunity to win two or three of the matches in that meet. The individual scores of the match were actually a bit closer than a 9-0 meet would indicate. We have a talented team and teams won’t want to play us once we get match-tough.”
UWLC’s Bridget Bellissmo swept Sagen 6-0 and 6-2 in No. 1 singles and then teamed with Sadie Spahn to sneak past Sagen and Peters 9-7 in No. 1 doubles.
Ganser, Peters, Docter, Leffler and Koppa, who made up singles No. 2-6, all fell to their opponents in a combined score of 38-72.
As for No. 2 doubles, Koppa and Leffler were defeated 2-8, while Docter and Ganser lost 5-8 in No. 3 doubles.
The UWO women’s tennis team will travel to St. Peter, Minn. to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Regional from Friday, Sept. 23rd through Sunday, Sept. 25th.
Koppa said, because the team has never competed in the ITA Midwest Regional, they are excited to see what the competition will be like.
“To be honest, this is the first time going to this tournament, so we don’t know a ton about it,” Koppa said. “I don’t know the exact teams in it, so it’s hard to say [what to expect]. But I’m really excited to just keep on going.”