The No. 69 Marquette women’s tennis team scored a pair of victories on Friday as the Golden Eagles shut out Detroit Mercy and Wisconsin-Green Bay 7-0 each. The matches were a nice change of pace for a Marquette team coming off a 6-1 loss at Wisconsin Feb. 23.
Senior Rachael Hush said the keys to overcoming the loss to the Badgers were staying positive and having good energy.
“When teams are coming at us and we’re under fire, it’s pretty easy to get down on yourself, so staying positive becomes important in that regard in both matches,” she said.
Against Detroit Mercy, the second and third Marquette doubles teams of junior Paola Calderon and freshman Rocio Diaz and junior Gillian Hush and freshman Chelsea Utting , made quick work of their opponents, winning 8-1 and 8-2, respectively. Against Green Bay, the two pairs won their respective matches 8-1 and 8-3.
“In doubles, the one thing that we try to stress is aggressive play,” coach Jody Bronson said. “We want our net people to be active. We want our baseline players looking to get in, so that we’re more dictating than being dictated to, and that is what we were able to do today in both matches.”
The top doubles team, Rachael Hush and fellow senior Christina Ruiz, had more trouble than the other two doubles teams, but still pulled out victories over Detroit Mercy and Green Bay, 8-4 and 8-5, respectively. Bronson thinks the pair is talented enough to crack the national rankings.
“They play excellent doubles,” Bronson said. “They both have all the shots to be aggressive and get to the net. And both of them, being seniors, they have four years of experience that really helps them on the court.”
Rachael Hush explained what works well for her doubles team on the court.
“I think we have great chemistry, so it’s easy for us to go out there and know where the other person is going to be hitting the ball,” she said.
In singles play, Marquette won every singles match, and won all but two sets in singles play.
The two players who dropped sets were sophomore Kelly Barry and junior Olga Fischer. Barry, who was playing No. 1 singles, dropped her first set to Detroit Mercy sophomore Carolina Salas Espinosa, but eventually came back and won the match 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
“(Detroit Mercy players) did a good job of cutting off the court, so if our balls weren’t very deep they were just stepping in and playing aggressive and getting us on the run,” Bronson said. “With Kelly, we tried to get her to change up direction on the ball a little bit, and that allowed her to use her backhand to play into a win.”
Fischer dropped her first set in No. 1 singles to Green Bay senior Emily Lawent, but was also to come back and win her match 1-6, 6-4, 1-0.
“I wasn’t really in my first set, and in my second set I was down,” Fischer said. “I wasn’t really making my shots. I switched my racquet and everything seemed to work for me.”