After narrowly missing a top four position in the conference, entrance into the spring tournament and the qualifying round to the national tournament last year, the women’s tennis team is determined to achieve those positions this season.
“I would say our biggest goal is to be fourth in conference and go to the spring tournament. We were so close last year,” said senior captain Kristen Finstad.
Last year the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point women’s tennis team had its most successful season in five years. The team finished fifth in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, missing fourth place by just one point.
“We are a young team, and we are going to continue to grow. We have a bright future ahead of us,” said second year head coach Deena Gordon.
The Pointers graduated two of their top singles players and are now looking to replace those players, in addition to vacant doubles positions.
“We have a really nicely balanced team with everyone pushing everyone. We are working hard to find the new doubles teams and the best fit for doubles partners. We have some of last year’s freshmen stepping into those singles spots,” Gordon said.
Hayley Schlueter and Katelyn Asfeld return to the team as sophomores and will be filling those available singles spots. Finstad and fellow senior captain Molly Hendries will be returning to the doubles scene.
“As a team, we had a lot of improvement last year, but this year we want to get even better,” Hendries said.
Last season’s improvement will act as a stepping stone as the 2014 season gets underway.
“Our lineup is deeper this year. Almost everyone is equal,” Finstad said.
In an effort to better the team, the players are looking to better themselves.
“I want to better my personal record, improve all around, and do my best my final season,” Hendries said.
Finstad also wants to improve her personal record and end her last season on a high note.
“I want to leave an imprint by doing my best as a senior and a captain,” Finstad said.
Gordon is proud of the leadership roles both Finstad and Hendries have taken. She is also happy to see the team bond staying strong.
“I am really excited about our seniors bringing in positive leadership. We all have each others’ backs. We are such a close-knit group,” Gordon said.
Saturday, the Pointers faced one of their toughest opponents, the Eagles of the UW-La Crosse. Unfortunately, after two prior wins, the match marked the first loss of the season.
“Whitewater is always the toughest, but La Crosse is probably number two. The match will be good for us,” Hendries said.
The Pointers see the match as a test and a building block. The excitement will be high at their home opener, and the team is looking to fill the stands.
“Don’t forget to come support us at our first home match on Sept. 13 against UW- River Falls. We would love to show all of our fans what we can do. This year is going to be a good year,” Finstad said.