By Owen Smith
Defeat #22 Hope and #29 Wisconsin-Whitewater
The Big Red women’s tennis team made a statement in Wisconsin, avenging a loss suffered just last week to Hope College and defeating yet another nationally ranked opponent in Wisconsin-Whitewater.
The tournament started on a winning note when the team took out Augustana 7-2. This win was highlighted by the Big Red sweeping the Viking’s entire singles line-up.
They then faced off against No. 11 Washington University later that day, succumbing to a 7-2 loss to the Bears.
The women had to quickly put the loss behind them for the next match in order to get ready to play Hope, a team that they had lost to just eight days before, 7-2.
“Last week we didn’t play within ourselves, we psyched ourselves out expecting them to be better than they actually were because of their ranking,” Rochell Issa ’18 said. “There was a different vibe on the court in this time. We played so well as a whole, proving to ourselves and to everyone around us that the sport is more than just a ranking.”
Issa turned losses to wins in both singles and doubles from the first match to the second against Hope, and went 3-1 in singles and teamed up with fellow freshman Courtney Brown ’18 to go 3-1 in doubles over the weekend as well.
Coach Peter Burling switched up the doubles pairings after a tough first half of the season, and since Issa and Brown came together, they have gone 7-2 at the two doubles flight.
“Our games compliment each other nicely and we have gotten more aggressive at the net,” Brown said. “We are also holding our service games much more consistently. These were all key factors in why we beat Hope this time.”
In the final match of the weekend, the Big Red were able to take the momentum from their revenge win into another win against No. 29 Wisconsin-Whitewater, 5-1. A doubles sweep, followed by a singles win from Issa and a grueling three set win from Meg Chiumento ‘16, sealed the deal for the Big Red.
As the team arrived early Sunday morning after the nine-hour drive from Madison, the women were exhausted yet elated at their performance. They will hit the courts again at Oberlin College on Thursday.
Photo courtesy of Owen Smith