Wed, Sep. 9, 2009 - [Women's Tennis]
The Loras College women's tennis team opened their 2009 fall season with six matches in six days beginning on September 2 and wrapped it up with a two-match sweep of Augustana and Millikin on September 7. Over the course of the long Labor Day weekend, the Duhawks also returned to the friendly confines of their on campus courts at the corner of Cox St. and 17th St.
The Duhawks opened their schedule with a 6-3 road loss to NAIA St. Ambrose University in Davenport. Loras tallied three wins, two in singles and one in doubles. Lindsay Dunkirk (#2) and Breann Billiet (#5) earned the singles wins and newcomers Katharine Mack and Sarah Dickhut won 8-3 at #3 doubles to round out Loras' scoring.
The return to the newly resurfaced courts on campus was on Saturday the 5th of September. Loras took 15-of-18 matches against Lawrence University and Buena Vista University. The 9-0 sweep of BVU was Loras' first in Iowa Conference competition in 2009. Lawrence proved a tougher opponent, but Loras prevailed. The Duhawks went 4-3 in matches that were played - and combined with two forfeits by Lawrence - won 6-3.
At 2-1 overall and 1-0 in league play, the Duhawks hosted NAIA Calumet College of St. Joseph (IN) on Sunday. Loras rested some regulars in the lineup against the non-NCAA III opponent and battled at every spot in the singles lineup. Unfortunately, the only Loras wins on the day were #1 and #2 doubles. The team was back at .500 and well rested heading into their annual matchup with Augustana and their follow-up with Millikin on Labor Day.
Loras swept their second opponent of 2009 when they knocked off Millikin in the afternoon session. The Duhawks dropped just two games over nine matches in their handling of the Big Blue.
The biggest win of the opening week of competition came in Loras' Monday morning competition with Augustana. In 2008, the Vikings dealt the Duhawks a 9-0 loss. In 2009, the Duhawks earned one of their biggest wins under head coach Karl Stubben when they battled to a 5-4 win in Rock Island.
Alisha Espey, Breann Billiet, and Katharine Mack each went 2-0 to carry Loras. Mack teamed with Sarah Dickhut to win the #3 doubles match 8-4. Espey and Billiet combined to win by the same score at #2 doubles. The trio went 3-0 at #3 -#5 singles. Five of the six sets in those three matches went 6-3 or better in favor of the purple and gold.
The Monday sweep put the Duhawks at 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the Iowa Conference.
Head coach Karl Stubben gave his thoughts after the match.
"This is huge for us, to get a win over Augustana after the way the match went last season. Both teams sent out very similar lineups and we went from a 9-to-0 loss to a 5-to-4 win.""I give a lot of credit to our girls today," Stubben said. "They knew what the score was last year and didn't let it affect how they performed this year. A win of this caliber at this time of the season can really help us out going forward, too!"