Tennis teams took off in all alphabetical flights

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

The SDSU men’s and women’s tennis teams completed one of their most successful tournaments at the Division I level last weekend at the Omaha Collegiate Championships.

Senior Michael Engdahl and junior Corey Paluch defeated the team of Nikita Dudar and Jose Guerra from Creighton 9-8 in the finals of the Flight A doubles title, while Alex Lauseng and Justin Pyle dropped only four games on their way to winning all three of their round robin matches to win the Flight B doubles title.

In the Flight A Singles, Engdahl edged out teammate Jeff Hughes 8-5 to capture fifth place. In the same bracket, Paluch placed fourth before retiring in the second set.

It was another showdown between Jackrabbits in the Flight B Singles as Pyle defeated sophomore Wade Kippley 7-6, 6-1 to finish fifth.

Freshman Lauseng came up short in his bid to win the Flight C Singles tournament, losing to Creighton’s Mike Elson 6-1, 6-3 in the finals.

On the women’s side, freshman Katie Elifson won the Flight E singles round robin tournament, defeating Nebraska-Omaha’s Sarah Wheeland 6-1, 6-0. Elifson and doubles partner Bethany Goeden went 2-1 in the Flight C round robin doubles matches, good enough for a tie for first. They beat their University of South Dakota opponents 9-8 in their final match.

“The most gratifying part of the Omaha trip, along with the 37 match wins, was meeting the old rival USD women, now a fledgling D-I program,” said head coach Don Hanson. “USD is making a big push with lots of foreign athletes and scholarships, but we were able to show our experience of a Division I program.”

Megan McDougall had a solid runner-up finish in the Flight D Singles, falling to Leesa Cadwallader from Creighton 6-2, 7-5 in the finals.

Junior Caitlin Brannen and sophomore Nellie Bloomberg each finished fifth in the singles tournaments.

“The team has worked well, and we look forward to the spring Summit League clashes,” said Hanson.

The Jackrabbit men’s tennis team returns to the court at the Louisville Invitational in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 10 to 12. The women have this week off before the men and women both face Montana State-Billings on Oct. 17 to 18 in Rapid City.

“We hope by taking SDSU tennis to various places in the state, we can raise the profile of SDSU men and women’s tennis and encourage more students to attend SDSU,” said Hanson.

After traveling to Montata State-Billings the women team will have the winter off until Feb.13.