UWO tennis ends season fourth in WIAC standings

Billy Piotrowski, Sports Writer

The UW Oshkosh women’s tennis team wrapped up its 2017-18 season, barring a bid into the NCAA tournament Saturday, April 28. The Titans competed in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team tournament against the UW-Whitewater and UW-La Crosse.

Oshkosh had been practicing hard during the week leading up to the tournament, and junior Hannah Peters talked about how head coach Robert Henshaw’s competitive practices helped prepare her heading into the tournament.

“I felt very prepared going into Saturday’s matches,” Peters said. “[Henshaw] set up competitive practices that challenged us and allowed us to compete against each other so that we were taking it seriously before playing the other UW schools on Saturday.”

Peters fought hard in singles and in doubles with her partner, senior Bailey Sagen. Peters went unfinished in her singles match against Whitewater’s Jillian Wallace after dropping the first two sets and lost to La Crosse’s Hayley Clope.

As a team, Peters and Sagen lost two close matches to Whitewater and La Crosse, 8-3 and 8-5, respectively.

Sagen reflected on the feeling of her last match and how much talent is moving up to fill the spot she will be leaving behind.

“As bittersweet as it is to have to move on from college tennis, I will be back to watch my teammates play next year,” Sagen said. “I have been No. 1 doubles for four years, and No. 1 singles for three years, so it will be really cool to see them move up and take over my position, and I know that they will do great.”

Henshaw said even with the results, the season ended on a high note for the Titans, capping off an overall successful year.

“I thought most of our team played with good focus and intensity,” Henshaw said. “Although it didn’t end in a win, Alyssa Leffler lost a tight three-set match to [La Crosse’s] number two player and Sagen and Peters played quite well against La Crosse’s number one doubles team as well.”

As the Titans begin to look ahead to next year, they have a lot of young talent already in the program and many more recruits looking to make an impact. Henshaw said UWO’s strength is evident for next season and his hopes are high for the young Titans.

“With the exception of Bailey Sagen and Hannah Nauth, we were playing freshmen, sophomores and two juniors,” Henshaw said. “We have great young talent. I hope our new recruits come in ready to add to our depth and that our current roster use their summer wisely to improve upon their fitness and match play.”

If Oshkosh does not earn a bid into the post-season tournament, the Titans will end their season fourth in the WIAC with an overall record of 8-9.