Jacks swept by Creighton

Kirk Danielson

Kirk Danielson

April 17 was a superb day in Brookings. It was 65 degrees and sunny, with a slight easterly breeze. At Hillcrest Park the SDSU women’s tennis team hosted the Blue Jays from Creighton University. Creighton swept SDSU 8-0, winning both the doubles and singles matches.

The women’s tennis team has shown much improvement during the season and has already doubled their win total from last season. This season, the Jacks have posted victories over Colorado College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a future Mid-Con rival. They have also downed Chicago State twice, including a 4-2 win last weekend in Macomb, Ill.

“Last weekend went really well for the ladies.” said Coach Josh Lunak. “We almost knocked down Western Illinois two weeks ago, and I thought that was a real confidence booster for us.”

The tennis team has seen a significant rise in the level of competition that it faces since SDSU moved to Division I.

“It’s been hard for me this year.I’ve been playing top two, and we’ve played against a lot of good people. But I think it’s good, it’s improved my game,” commented junior Kate Wylie, ranked No. 2. “The top three of us have been together since our freshman year, so we’ve improved and worked together each year. We’ve continued to grow and become better together.”

South Dakota winters are not exactly agreeable to tennis play, so the team has been practicing at the indoor tennis court at Larson Manufacturing.

“We use the Larson facility between 6 and 8 in the morning, and we practice in shifts. We have four play at once, to get more people in on the court time.” said freshman Rachel Schmieding, on the third ranked doubles team.

The team has been able to practice outdoors during the last few weeks. With ten courts, Hillcrest Park has made it easier for everyone to get in court time.

The women’s tennis team sports five freshmen this year, and with No. 1 Kristine Hagedorn as the only senior on the squad, the future is bright for this young team.

“We’re missing a top player or two on our girls team, but our top six is a lot more solid than last year,” said Lunak.

“I think we’ve been doing better as the year has progressed. At first it wasn’t going so hot, but we’ve switched it around now,” Schmieding added.

The women’s tennis team wraps up their season Friday, April 20 against the University of Sioux Falls. Play starts at 3 p.m. at Hillcrest Park. Come on out and support the Jacks and enjoy an afternoon in the park. The forecast is 67 degrees and sunny.