Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Tennis qualifies for WIAC Tourney

The women’s tennis team wrapped up the regular season at the Conference Championship on Saturday, Oct. 23 and is now looking ahead to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Team Tournament.

The Titans finished fourth in the overall standings with 12 points at the conference Championship in Madison, which earned them a spot at the WIAC Championships in April 2017.

Finishing fourth for the Titans in the individual competitions were Bailey Sagen at No. 1, Alyssa Leffler at No. 2, Hannah Peters at No. 3 and Samantha Koppa at No. 4. The Titans also had Annie Doctor place fifth at No. 4 singles and Monica Micoliczyk place sixth at No. 6 singles.

Taking fourth in doubles were the pairing of Sagen and Peters at No. 1 and Koppa and Leffler at No. 2. Hannah Nauth and Ashlee Polena finished seventh at No. 3.

These Titans look much different than the team that played last year, with no returning seniors and five players who had never competed with the team before this year.

Despite these new faces and the young roster, the Titans have prevailed to make the tournament.

Head coach Robert Henshaw said he isn’t downplaying the magnitude of five new faces gelling together this smoothly.

“Qualifying for the tournament this year was huge because we have five new players who weren’t with us last year,” Henshaw said.

Sagen said she agrees qualifying with such a young roster was no small accomplishment.

“It was very exciting to place fourth in the tournament and qualify for the spring tournament with such a young team,” Sagen said.

While some may say that a young, inexperienced roster can hurt the team at the upcoming tournament, Peters said she thinks it will have the opposite effect.

“I don’t think a young roster will hurt us, but rather help us,” Peters said. “Many of the girls have just come out fresh from their high school tennis seasons, and having younger girls new to the tournament experience I think will give us an edge since our opponents are not used to playing us.”

The Titans faced their fair share of adversity this season, most notably losing one of their top players to injury with Paige Ganser at No. two singles. This meant everyone on the roster had to play up a spot to fill in for the loss.

The Titans are not satisfied with just qualifying, however, and are continuing to practice and play even with the lengthy break between now and the tournament.

They are going to practice once a week over the winter and Henshaw has already scheduled dual matches for the team once it warms up to shake off the rust.

Peters said she knows how much potential this roster has for next year.

“Unlike the other teams in our conference, we will bring back our entire team next year, which allows us to improve in the offseason and as a team,” Peters said.

Henshaw said the women’s tennis team could quickly become one of the powerhouses of the WIAC in the upcoming years.

“We have no seniors on the team so next year we should have nearly every player returning,” Henshaw said. “If we can get one or two freshmen recruits next year who come to school ready to compete, we will be in a great position to compete at the top of our conference.”

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