Tennis Teams Place Well in Omaha Competition

Jaime Wieme

Jaime Wieme

It was a successful trip to Omaha last weekend for head coach Don Hansen and his men’s and women’s tennis squads. The men came out firing and placed second behind St. Cloud State. The women also did well finishing in sixth place.

On the men’s side it was a competitive weekend with evenly matched teams. The Jacks ended the regular season in style by pasting rival Minnesota State-Mankato in Brookings last week and taking a full head of steam to the NCC tournament in Omaha, NE.

Making the most waves for the Jacks was freshman phenomenon Steve Grantz, who took no prisoners on his waltz through the singles bracket, dismantling St. Cloud’s Travis Marohi 6-2, 6-3 in the number five singles final.

Number one singles player Ben Barnes finished second in singles action and Ihab Haleweish finished third at number six singles.

The men also faired well in the doubles bracket as the number one team of Barnes and Jeff Everson took second place, the number two doubles tandem of Lucas Hoover. Brian Hylle placed third, as did the number three doubles squad of Steve Grantz and Keaton Raymond.

The women’s squad came home with a sixth place finish though the weekend’s powerhouses UNO and UND ran away with most of the honors. The young squad faired well overall, making sure that any win at the tournament over SDSU was going to be a battle.

Top finishers for the Lady Jacks were third place honors that were awarded to number four singles player, sophomore Emily Rollins and number five singles player, Jen Creed.

Both Rollins and Creed won their consolation matches convincingly as Rollins beat USD’s Michelle Hogan and Creed defeated Augustana’s Lindsey Agnitsch. At number five singles, Kari Markell took fifth place honors by beating Augustana’s Katie Bohl in straight sets.

Both the men and women’s squads finished the year strong at the conference tournament. The women finished the year with a 4-12 record while the men compiled a 6-12, including a four-match winning streak to end the year. Both teams will be bringing back some battle-tested experience next year, which should make them forces to be reckoned with at the Division I level.