The Marquette women’s tennis team finished up the fall season on a high note in the Kansas Fall Invitational. Senior Tina Radan won the Draw E championship, pulling out a hard-fought semifinals win over Iowa State’s Caroline Andersen (6-1, 2-6, 6-2) and dispatching Kansas’s Amy Barnthouse (6-1, 6-3) in the final.
Senior Olga Fischer won the Draw A consolation title with decisive victories over Iowa State’s Tessa Lang (6-2, 6-2) and Alecia Krauss (6-2, 6-3.). Fischer also teamed with sophomore Rocio Diaz to win the consolation doubles round, recording back to back 8-3 wins over Iowa State and Indiana.
Fischer said that the Golden Eagles wanted to finish the fall season strong in the invitational and that determining their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses was key to their success.
“Every match is different because each opponent plays differently,” Fischer said. “We had to use appropriate shots against different opponents in order to win and see where there weaknesses were and how we could take advantage of them.”
Fischer attributed her doubles success with Diaz to the duo’s strong relationship.
“Rocky (Diaz) and I have a very special connection,” Fischer said. “We understand each other on and off the court, so I just know when I hit a shot where she’s going to go, because we’ve played together so much.”
Radan said that Marquette’s preparation before and consistency during the tournament helped it continue to improve for the spring.
“Our preparation was much better than it had been for other fall tournaments,” Radan said. “Basically everybody played more consistently than they had in other tournaments. We weren’t necessarily better than our opponents, but we consistently fought and had a stronger will to win in the end.”
Coach Jody Bronson said she was very pleased with her team’s performance and that they had come a long way since the beginning of fall, particularly in their ability to manage matches.
“We really concentrated on dictating the pace of the match,” Bronson said. “That means being aggressive when we needed to be, going after the ball, hitting it harder and getting our opponents on defense initially.”
For the next few weeks, the Golden Eagles will undergo a series of conditioning and individual workouts. Though fall competition is over, there are still a lot of decisions to be made regarding player placement, as many of the singles spots are still up for grabs.
“I think the team is really competitive, and we are still fighting for spots,” Fischer said. “Everyone still wants to play in the top spot, and everyone is really working hard for that.”
Bronson said that she still has much to evaluate, and no particular position is set moving from fall to spring. Between now and January, she will continue to gauge each player’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
“Right now it’s hard to say what our lineups will be come January,” Bronson said. “Rocio (Diaz) and Olga (Fischer) play well together in doubles, and we had them there because they had a good season last year, but you have to win two of three doubles points so we still have to set it up. Ana (Pimienta) also hasn’t been able to serve a lot, so we have to wait until January when her shoulder is a little bit stronger.”