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 goes 1-1 in Iowa

The UW Oshkosh women’s tennis team traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa this past weekend to take on Coe College (Iowa) and Wartburg College (Iowa) in their second- and third-to-last match-ups of the regular season.

UWO is currently placed fourth in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference. The team’s overall record is 9-10, with a conference record of 3-3.

The Titans have no more regular-season conference match-ups, but will head to UW-Whitewater on April 29 to compete in the WIAC Team Tournament Semifinal. They take on Concordia University Wisconsin the day before they travel to UW-WW.

The Titans fell to the Coe Kohawks 7-2 and defeated the Wartburg Knights 7-2 on Saturday.

At No. 1 singles, junior Bailey Sagen went 1-1 on the day. In her first match-up of the weekend against Haley Resnick of Coe College, Sagen fell 6-4 and 6-3. In her battle against Wartburg College’s Alex Petersen, she won 6-1 and 6-3.

Sagen’s overall record this season at singles is 10-17. She has defeated opponents from UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Stout.

Sagen placed fifth in No. 1 singles and fourth in No. 1 doubles at the WIAC Championship last year.

Second-year head coach Robert Henshaw, who led his team to a fourth-place WIAC finish last season, said Sagen has been a strong leader for other players so far this year.

“Bailey sets a great standard both in matches and practices,” Henshaw said. “When she comes out, she’s fully engaged and fully immersed in learning. She sets just a really great standard for the rest of the girls to follow.”

Alyssa Leffler fell to Lauren French of Coe College 6-1, 6-1 in her first competition of the day at No. 2 singles. However, the freshman made a comeback in her second match-up against Wartburg’s Lauren O’Brain, where she dominated 6-1 and 6-0.

Leffler, new to the UWO tennis program this season, holds a 13-13 record after this past weekend. Leffler’s older brother, David Leffler, was a part of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 men’s tennis teams prior to the program being cut last season.

Sophomore Hannah Peters split her two matches in the third flight. She fell to the Kohawks’ Sarah Lasecki 6-0, 6-0 and beat the Knights’ Hannah Fox 6-2 and 6-3.

Peters said she struggled in the first match by trying to end points early. She said she also failed to use the heavy winds to her advantage.

However, the sophomore said she was satisfied with her performance in the defeat against Wartburg.

“I would describe my matches this weekend as somewhat of a personal comeback for me,” Peters said. “I have been having some trouble solidifying my singles matches, but I think what I did well in the second match was develop a better level of patience and use my mind and problem solving skills as much as I did my physical strokes.”

Coe College’s Kaitlin Fosler defeated UWO freshman Lesley Kutnink at No. 4 singles. Fosler beat Kutnink with scores of 6-4 and 6-7 (2) (10-3). Kutnink came back strong in her second matchup of the weekend against Gabby Olejniczak from Wartburg College and won 6-4 and 6-1.

Kutnink, a graduate of Oshkosh North High School, has tallied a record of 4-5 this spring.

Freshman standout Samantha Koppa had the only singles win for the Titans on Saturday against Coe College. The No. 5 singles player defeated Lakyn Boltz 7-6 and 6-2. However, she later fell to Wartburg College’s Annika Krieg 7-6 and 6-2.

Koppa has compiled a singles record of 15-9 this year. Henshaw believes Koppa has been successful due to her fitting the No. 5 spot well.

“She is one of the only players on the team that is actually realistically playing the position where she should,” Henshaw said. “If you look at our team, we have four-plus freshmen playing in meaningful spots. Sammi is playing in a very appropriate spot. One thing that she does really exceptionally is that she plays within herself. She comes out to every single match with a clear goal and strategy in mind, and she executes it really well.”

Freshman Monica Micoliczyk rounded out singles play for the Titans with her 6-1, 6-2 loss against Ella White of the Kohawks and 6-3, 6-3 victory over the Knights’ Rachel Zittergruen in the sixth flight.

Micoliczyk has been a go-to No. 6 singles player for UWO this season, as the freshman has compiled a 7-12 record thus far.

The three UWO doubles teams compiled a record of 3-3 on Saturday.

At No. 1 doubles, Peters and Sagen were beat by Coe’s French and Resnick 8-3. In their match against Wartburg, Sagen and Peters defeated O’Brien and Peterson 9-7.

Peters said despite the first round loss, she and Sagen made improvements in their matches on Saturday.

“I would describe Bailey and I’s doubles performances as a comeback and positive stepping stone,” Peters said. “We finally are able to start closing out matches with teams that before we were only competing with, and instead are winning. We also won a personal battle of ours which was to take more risks and hit out with full strokes rather than play shots safe. I think it showed us how much of a threat we are to other good teams.”

In the second flight, Koppa and Leffler fell to Coe College’s Fosler and Lasecki 8-4. Against Krieg and Fox from Wartburg, UWO’s No. 2 team won 8-3.

Henshaw spoke highly of both Koppa and Leffler and the other underclassmen who have stepped up this season while playing hard against tough opponents.

“It’s really a testament to results being more so process-driven, as opposed to wins versus losses,” Henshaw said. “‘How are we playing?’ ‘Are we trying our hardest?’ and ‘Are we learning?’ That’s really the goal – to gain more experience.”

Kutnink and sophomore Ashlee Polena, who make up the Titans’ No. 3 doubles team, were the only two to win against Coe College. The pair matched up against Boltz and White where they won 8-4. The duo then fell to Olejniczak and Zittergruen, 8-5.

Henshaw said he is excited to see how far his team, made up of five freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors, can go as it continues to learn, improve and gain experience.
“They are playing exceptionally well, even though results don’t always dictate that,” Henshaw said. “I just look forward to more growth and development.”

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