Golden Eagles drop two to Catholic rivals

Senior Christina Ruiz ended her career at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium with two losses over the weekend. Photo by Steph Waterman/stephanie.waterman@marquette.edu

The Marquette women’s tennis team lost to DePaul 4-3 on Friday and 6-1 to Notre Dame Sunday at Helfaer Tennis Stadium.

The weekend started out rough for the Golden Eagles as they lost the doubles point Friday, with two of three matches going into extra games.

The teams of freshman Rocio Diaz and junior Olga Fischer, and junior Gillian Hush and freshman Chelsea Utting both lost their doubles matches, 9-7. The senior doubles team was the only one to get a win on Friday, when it came back from a four-game deficit to win, 8-6.

“The matches were very intense in doubles,” coach Jody Bronson said. “It was ours to win, and we let it slip away, so that was tough.”

The doubles point loss haunted Marquette, as it lost by one point to the Blue Demons.

“I don’t think it was our best day,” Bronson said. “(Our players) wanted it really badly. They knew what they needed to do to win, but the execution just wasn’t there.”

Marquette just wasn’t able to place shots in the right place.

“We weren’t making a lot of balls,” senior Christina Ruiz said. “DePaul is a great team and you really need to play well against them.”

Ruiz said that part of the reason for poor execution was the large crowd at the match Friday. Between senior night, and an iPad giveaway, the team easily drew its biggest crowd of the season.

Sunday, Marquette won the doubles point but still lost to No. 22 Notre Dame.  Marquette overcame an early 8-1 doubles loss by Ruiz and senior Rachael Hush with victories by Gillian Hush and Utting 8-5, and Diaz and Fischer, 8-6.

However, those would be the only match victories of the day for Marquette, as it was swept in straight sets in singles play.

“I think we competed as a team better than we did on Friday.” Bronson said.  “We haven’t won a point from Notre Dame in a long time and I was really proud of the way they played in doubles.”

These were the last home matches for Ruiz and Rachael Hush. They were immediate contributors when they came to Marquette as freshmen in 2007-’08, tallying up a combined 37-26 singles record that year.

“We are really going to miss them,” Bronson said. “They have both given so much to this program in four years. Whether it be on the court or off the court they have been great players and great ambassadors for Marquette.”

Over the last two years the duo has been a force for Marquette in doubles play as well.  It tallied a 14-5 doubles record over the last two fall seasons playing No. 1 doubles for the Golden Eagles.

“It’s been a great four years here,” Rachael Hush said. “It has been an honor to play for Jody and (assistant coach) Katie (Potts), and I’ve loved every minute of it.”