UWO tennis returns with dominant win

After a five-month layoff, the women’s tennis squad returned to earn its eighth win.

Billy Piotrowski, Sports Writer

The UW Oshkosh women’s tennis team kicked off the spring season last week against Illinois Institute of Technology. The Titans came out of the gates strong after their almost six month break, beating the Scarlet Hawks 6-3.

After the long break, UWO was ready to get back on the court and start competing again. Sophomore Samantha Koppa said it was important to remain practicing during the gap between seasons, but that it felt good to be back in competition.

“It felt so great to be back on the court competing after such a long break,” Koppa said. “I love the feeling of competition and it is amazing to have that feeling back. Practices are fun, but during a competition you can really see how hard work and dedication has paid off from practice and the offseason.”

That hard work during competition was shared on March 3 by a few more members of the team as the Titans have a couple players down with injuries and illness. Junior Ashlee Polena and sophomore Monica Micoliczyk stepped up and earned three wins for the Titans.

After a lengthy break, there’s a lot that has to be refreshed in practice. Micoliczyk said working on individual skills in practice helped the team prepare for the spring.

“We played hard in our practices,” Micoliczyk said. “We also spent a lot of time on our footwork and conditioning, and I think it really paid off.”

The team will need to stay focused if it wants to ride this wave to its next match. The Titans don’t compete again for a month, taking on Coe College and Carthage College on Sunday, April 8.

Head coach Robert Henshaw is looking to make this extended break as beneficial for the Titans as possible, and he said he is looking to challenge the team as a unit, as well as individually.

“This break gives me a chance to take a step back and really look at the individuals on our team,” Henshaw said. “I can tailor drills and practices that are focused on helping them improve parts of their games that I really can’t explore while we are in the heat of constant competition. Ultimately, I think this is a huge advantage for us and should help us play our best towards the end of the season.”

During the month of April, the Titans will be competing every week, leaving little time to rest. But the team is accepting that challenge with open arms, preparing to attack this long break and hit the ground running when April 8 arrives.