Women’s tennis wins twice in home meet



After moving to Sioux Falls, the Jacks found some success, despite a leaky roof.


The South Dakota State women’s tennis team wrapped up their 2011 conference season this past weekend as they hosted a Summit League cluster in Sioux Falls.

The Jacks won two of their five matches over the three days with a 4-0 sweep of Centenary on April 14th and a 4-3 win over Western Illinois on April 15th.

The cluster was originally scheduled to be played outdoors in Brookings, but due to cold and wet weather, it was moved indoors to Sioux Falls at Sioux Empire Fitness.

“We were very happy with how the cluster went in the most trying of conditions with the three indoor courts, leaking roofs and toweling off the courts,” said SDSU head coach Don Hanson. “I never thought that during my last Summit League match I would become a towel boy and mop up floors, but that is the way it went.”

Megan McDougall went undefeated during the five matches going 3-0 at #5 singles with two matches unfinished and had a 2-0 record in #2 doubles teaming with Bryna Nasenbeny with two matches unfinished.

Against Western Illinois, SDSU found themselves tied at three points apiece with only #6 singles yet to play. That’s where Katie Elifson notched the fourth and winning point for SDSU with a straight set 6-0, 6-0 victory.

“That’s a lot of pressure when the outcome of the entire thing comes down to your match and you are the last one playing,” Hanson said.

The final match for SDSU was against first place IPFW. After rolling through their first three matches of the cluster, the Jacks gave the Mastodon’s a bit of a fight as McDougall lost the first set at #4 singles 7-6, while #1 Jenny Blackburne took two games in the first set from 11 time Summit League player of the week Amy Recht. In the end, it was not enough as IPFW ended up winning 4-0 and have won 42 of the 44 sets played in conference this season.

“We played IPFW tough,” said Hanson, “but I didn’t think they were that much better than we were considering they were the undefeated champions of the Summit League. They are good, but we are not that far behind them.”

The Jacks finished conference play with a 2-6 record and are 5-13 overall with a dual against St. Cloud State scheduled for April 29th in Brookings to end the season. Two of SDSU’s losses this season were by 4-2 decisions where the outcome could have been different based on a single match. That, along with no seniors graduating, puts the women’s in prime position to make a run at the conference tournament next season.

“That experience should really help them turn the corner,” said Hanson. “It’s not going to help us with facilities. It’s not going to help us play or train any longer. Hopefully they will have enough experience that they will be able to overcome it. I believe this team will be competitive and I think we have a real shot at getting into the Summit League Tournament.”