Tennis team’s growing pains continue

Cory Sparks, Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh women’s tennis team dropped their two matches against UW-Stout and UW-River Falls last week to fall to 0-6 for the season.

The team went to Stout and lost by 7-2 on April 14 before coming home and losing to River Falls 6-3 on Saturday at the Neenah Valley Fitness and Racquet Center.

After failing to put up any match points in three consecutive competitions against UW-Whitewater, UW-Stevens Point and UW-La Crosse, UWO has found themselves competing at a much higher level as of late.

UWO tennis head coach Robert LeBuhn stated that the better weather has allowed the team to improve their game with less cancellations.

“We’re having actual practice time now and not getting rained out,” LeBuhn said. “This is allowing the team to participate in active play and not just piecemeal. It has been fairly consistent.”

Freshman Maddie Toboyek won her match against Stout’s Annie Sandry 6-1, 6-2, and junior Courtney Salisbury defeated Stout’s Mariah Kent in a nailbiter 6-2, 4-6, 11-9.

Despite not winning a team match this year, LeBuhn has seen one player in particular show significant strides of improvement throughout the season.

“Maddie Toboyek [has improved] without a doubt. She’s a freshman, and she’s very very good,” he said.

In the Saturday matchup against River Falls, Toboyek continued her dominance by beating Abbie Reed in straight sets 6-1, 6-0. Junior Michelle Spicer also won her matchup against Kailey Courteau rather easily by scores of 6-3, 6-2.

In doubles competition, Toboyek and Spicer teamed up to take down the River Falls tandem of Reed and Toboyek by a score of 8-0.

Toboyek and Spicer hold five of the team’s six individual wins so far with individual records of 2-4 and 3-3 at this point in the season.

With more consistent match play for his players no longer being an issue, LeBuhn said that he is currently getting the team to learn how to approach and play at the net instead of just playing off the back half of the court the entire time.

“Understanding the transition from the backcourt to the front court and what advantages you can gain by playing at the net will help,” LeBuhn said. “So many kids these days just learn how to play from the baseline. They’re not instructed on how to play the net. That’s what we’re focusing on to get us to that next level so that they have more complete games.”

UWO’s last team match before the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) championship was Wednesday at UW-Eau Claire, and results can be found on the UWO athletics page.

The WIAC championship will take place at the Whitewater Wangerin Courts this Saturday, and LeBuhn is preparing his team as they continue to search for their first victory.

“We’re getting closer,” he said. “Going into the WIAC championships and trying to win our first match of the season.”