UWO tennis starts season strong


UWO Athletics

UWO women’s tennis team start the season with a 5-4 win against Lawrence University.

Nolan Swenson, Co- Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh women’s tennis team started off its season with a 5-4 win last Tuesday against Lawrence University under returning coach Steve Francour.

In the singles matches, Alyssa Pattee, Alexandra Schmoldt,  Louisa Damkot and Cordelia Damkot all won their matches. In doubles, only the Damkot sisters won their match.

Francour was absent for eight years while coaching other programs, and during his absence the program has gone through five coaches, which has created an inconsistent program.

After a month into the program, Francour already has specific changes in mind for the young team, which includes four freshmen, four sophomores and one junior.

One of the changes is that the team learns what it takes to be successful at this level, he said. “Some of these people didn’t always have to put forward a maximum effort.”

But Francour said he appreciates the effort he has seen so far.

“I like our work level and how we are continuing to learn and get better,” he said. “I just think that what we’re trying to do is work hard and get back to being thought of highly and being competitive in our conference,” 

Louisa Damkot, a freshman from Sheboygan North High School, won matches in both the doubles and singles, and her singles win was the deciding point in the Titan victory.

Throughout high school, Damkot solely played singles matches, but when playing against Lawrence University, she played with her sister in her first competitive doubles match.

“I stepped up due to my skill as a singles athlete, and I played alongside my sister because I knew how to play with her and how she plays,” she said.

She said she had her doubts about the match, but was very happy with the results. “I wasn’t expecting that because I’ve never played that before in matches with doubles.”

Louisa came to Oshkosh with her sister, Cordelia, in anticipation of a match that allowed cooperation between the two of them, “We both wanted to play doubles together.”

After three weeks of practices and expanding her skills, Louisa said she’s been taking the new difficulties well.

“I felt really prepared to play at the college level,” she said, adding that she’s looking forward to seeing her and the team’s performance under Francour.

“My team is very nice and supportive, and Coach Francour is really knowledgeable about what he’s doing,” she said.

UWO tennis will play against St. Norbert College at the Green Bay Tennis Center this Saturday at 5 p.m.