Tennis finishes out regular season at 8-7

Titans drop both parts of doubleheader to end spring with 1 victory.

Billy Piotrowski, Sports Writer

This past weekend, the UW Oshkosh women’s tennis team had its second doubleheader in three weeks, this time facing off against Augustana and Luther Colleges. The Titans were unable to compete last week as their dual against Carroll College was canceled due to weather.

It can be a struggle for a player to refocus after preparing for a meet and suddenly not competing, but head coach Robert Henshaw explained that it presents a great chance to practice on the finer aspects of a match.

“During the week between the canceled Carroll match and Augustana/Luther we focused a great deal on competitive practices and net play,” Henshaw said. “I really like the way we compete in singles, but we need to become more adept at finishing points at the net in doubles. We worked on sticking volleys with a purpose, and we hit lots of overheads.”

The Titans played close matches in both singles and doubles against Augustana and Luther. In singles, UWO earned victories from senior Bailey Sagen and sophomores Alyssa Leffler and Samantha Koppa, and doubles saw a victory from the team of Sagen and junior Hannah Peters.

Throughout the rest of the matches on Sunday, Oshkosh lost to Augustana 8-1, and fell to Luther 6-3 with many close singles matches in both. Henshaw noted that Oshkosh is a very good team, having finished the fall season with an 8-3 record, but that there are a few aspects that need to be worked out.

Sagen reflected on the extra week of practices and said how helpful it was to have those practices focus on certain aspects of the game.

“[Henshaw] prepared us for this past weekend by really focusing on doubles work,” Sagen said. “We had very high-intensity practices last week that were all about volley work, coming into the net and winning our points there. With every good doubles team, essentially all of the points are won by playing up at the net. If we want to beat the best, we have to be ready at the net.”

The Titans will need to rebound from last weekend’s results for their next dual this upcoming Saturday. They will be facing the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season champion Warhawks at UW-Whitewater in the semifinals of the WIAC team tournament.

Preparation is huge for playoff matches, and Leffler said she has been starting to prepare for Whitewater since last week.
“Coach Henshaw wanted us to focus on bettering ourselves as players to prepare for our upcoming match against Whitewater,” Leffler said. “[Individually] I’m looking to focus on practicing particular shots to prepare me for the matches against Whitewater.”

Oshkosh is looking to rebound from a four-match losing streak against UW-Whitewater in the semifinals on Saturday.