Women get mixed results over the weekend

One win seemed easy and one loss seemed understood. But the Marquette women’s tennis team fought tooth and nail for every point this weekend, not settling for an easy win or an obvious loss.

Coming off an split result last weekend, with a 7-0 shutout over Northern Illinois and a 6-1 loss to No. 32 Illinois, the Golden Eagles insist they are prepared for the battleground they step onto for each dual match.

Coach Jody Bronson said the women fought for each point over the Huskies on Friday, even if the win was expected. Marquette swept the Huskies in dual play last year, too.

“The NIU players made us work,” she said. “This was not easy.”

The loss at Illinois did not come without a fight, either. Two of the doubles matches were decided at 8-6, with Rachael Hush and Christina Ruiz at No. 1 and Gillian Hush and Maggie Wilson at No. 3 fighting to stay in the game. The No. 2 position was lost 8-5 in an equally tough match with Paola Calderon and Olga Fischer.

Illinois is now 2-4 on the season, but its losses all came from teams ranked in the top 40 by the ITA. Marquette has now shown great stamina in matches with ranked teams, losing 6-1 against No. 46 Indiana on Jan. 30.

The sole win on Sunday came from junior Christina Ruiz at the No. 5 position. Ruiz managed to inch out her opponent 7-5, 6-4 in spite of shoulder pain from a rotator cuff injury she has been fighting.

After her 6-1, 6-0 win over NIU on Friday, Ruiz came off the court needing to ice her shoulder and take a break.

“I’m afraid to hit a ball because I’m afraid of the pain,” she told a trainer as she got her shoulder wrapped with an ice pack.

Bronson said that Ruiz would rest as necessary but would continue in dual play.

“It’s her serve that is most affected,” Bronson said. “If it’s just a matter of tolerating the pain, then you really want (the players) to be out there.”

As Ruiz battled her shoulder pain for her victory, sophomore Gillian Hush’s six-match win streak came to a halt when she lost 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 singles against Illinois.

After Hush’s sixth win on Friday against NIU, Bronson said Hush was working hard to stay undefeated.

“She made a great effort to really try to make herself better,” Bronson said. “And she fought hard and kept her focus to keep up that streak.”

Hush agreed that she’s kept her thoughts on the match at hand in order to pull ahead game after game.

“All of us especially try to focus on each individual match and focus on each point,” said Hush.

Though her streak ended on Sunday in a 6-1, 6-2 decision at No. 6, Hush didn’tt stop fighting throughout each game.