Mount Mary Drops Season-Ending Heartbreaker to Rival Inferno
Tennis keeps up winning ways, splits Saturday double header
CHICAGO – The Mount Mary College had a week filled will season firsts. Thursday, the Blue Angels picked up their first team win against MSOE and Saturday they put together their first win-streak of the year, defeating Concordia University-Chicago. That streak was then snapped in Mount Mary's first trip to a clay court in a few years, dropping a match to Roosevelt University to manage a split on the day.
"It's beginning to come together as the Angels get more match play," head coach Tom Troast said. "We got Concordia at a good time for us and a difficult time for them. We're a bit banged up late in the season but we had all our folks today ready."
Senior Kat Reynoso (Brookfield, Wis.) and juniors Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) and Carol Guillen (River Hills, Wis.) all picked up singles victories against the Cougars, while the Blue Angels picked up a pair of default wins over unfilled Concordia netters at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.
"Kat won the critical match today," Troast said. "To win the tie breaker after losing that second set showed a lot of mental toughness, especially after last year. A year ago a net cord shot cost her a set and us the match. Great for her to win today in a close contest.
"Its great to have our season change in such a positive way. The Angels have been working hard in practice, and they are beginning to believe in themselves as tennis players."
Following the shortened match against Concordia, Mount Mary traveled further into the city to take on Roosevelt University. The match not only took place in one of the city's most popular recreational areas, but on a surface many tennis players may never see in their collegiate careers.
"Interesting match played in a completely different environment for us," Troast said. "The Angels struggled on the clay but it's good to experience a surface foreign to most American players. I was impressed with how Roosevelt utilized the clay by hitting booming topspin shots that frankly our players never really adjusted to.
"And with a busy Lincoln Park and the Lakefront freeway literally yards from the courts, it was a loud and busy atmosphere. I liked the unique exposure to a venue that we're not likely to experience often."
Once the Blue Angels settled in, they proved a worthy foe to the host Lakers. Wolk picked up her third straight double-double (winning both singles and doubles matches against the same opponent) winning at No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles. Unfortunately, those were the only two wins Mount Mary could muster against Roosevelt as nagging injuries and fatigue from the pair of physical matches shone through late.
"Katie found herself in a singles match that was as intense and strange as she'll experience during her collegiate career," Troast said. "Not just because of her double victory, she's player of the day for her sportsmanship and patience. Her last singles set wound up playing in front of both teams and the crowd and she conducted herself as one would expect while dealing with a demonstrative and unpredictable opponent."
Dramatic match at No. 4 singles aside, Reynoso once again also proved to be the fighter, eventually dropping a wild three set match to her Laker foe. After winning the first set 4-6, she dropped a hard fought 7-5 tiebreak in the second set, then was out lasted 10-8 in the final tiebreak to drop the match.
Winning two of its last three matches, Mount Mary will take momentum into is season finale Thursday at Alverno. Doubles competition against the crosstown rival Inferno is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Mount Mary College 6, Concordia University-Chicago 3
Team Records: Mount Mary College 2-7; Concordia University-Chicago 1-12
Roosevelt University 7, Mount Mary College 2
Team Records: Roosevelt University 1-2; Mount Mary College 2-8
Mount Mary netters earn first win of the year
WAUWATOSA, Wis. – It was the perfect storm for the Mount Mary College tennis team.
In fact, it was a sudden September storm that caused the Blue Angles to be in this position in the first place.
After having to reschedule a match against crosstown rival Milwaukee School of Engineering due to a torrential downpour two weeks prior, Mount Mary offered to host the Raiders at Hart Park Thursday night under the lights. And the Blue Angels impressed on center stage, securing a pair of doubles victories en route to their first team victory of the season, 5-4 over MSOE.
"I thought the atmosphere was electric among our team tonight," head coach Tom Troast said. "This moment for the team was coming, and I think the ladies knew it too," Troast said. "We had a great week of practice and frankly I've never seen this group this excited to play. With three matches to go this team is beginning to come together and play with some confidence. There's nothing like match play to get a feel for tennis. We're still very young and inexperienced, but our program took a big step tonight."
Opening the night with the doubles competition, the tandem of freshman Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) and junior Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) earned the first Blue Angel win of the year with a 8-0 sweep. But an historic battle at No. 2 doubles proved the difference maker in the match, as sophomore Brooke Slamka (Racine, Wis.) and junior Carol Guillen (River Hills, Wis.) overcame a 2-7 deficit to pull off a miraculous 9-7 match victory. The duo held ground on all six match points faced to give Mount Mary a 2-1 lead entering the singles round.
"That No. 2 doubles match may be the most exciting in school history," Troast said. "Carol and Brooke were simply amazing during the comeback. I've never seen anything like it."
Momentum on its side, Mount Mary took control early in the singles competition as senior Kat Reynoso (Brookfield, Wis.) cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 6, while Wolk added a second singles win at No. 3 with a resounding 6-0, 6-2 victory. Bringing home the final match-winning win was Guillen, who made quick work of her MSOE foe 6-1, 6-1.
"Kat, Katie and Carol, my only returning players, tonight wanted this one so badly," Troast said. "They talked about it all week and they simply delivered with the best tennis I've ever seen them play.
"I'm so pleased with Kat's sudden emergence as a dependable singles player. She's given us some depth as a team and put us in position to seal the deal."
Returners aside, coach Troast also praised the play of Slamka, who aside from sharing in that huge doubles win, was thrown into uncharted territory not only as a singles player, but against MSOE's top player.
"Brooke, in my mind, was the player of the match," Troast said. "She was critical in that doubles comeback and was forced to play No. 1 singles due to a late player change. She rarely plays singles and was put into a pressure situation against a terrific, seasoned player. I was absolutely thrilled how she held her own throughout the night. We are going to hear a lot more from Brooke in the years ahead."
The Blue Angels will look to ride the emotions of their first season victory Saturday as they travel to Chicago for a split double-header at Concordia University-Chicago and Roosevelt University. Match times are 10 am and 1 pm respectively, both in the greater Chicago area.
Mount Mary College 5, Milwaukee School of Engineering 4
Team Records: Mount Mary College 1-7; Milwaukee School of Engineering 1-9
Marian too much for Blue Angels
FOND DU LAC, Wis. – The Mount Mary College tennis team battled a chilly and windy weather at the southern end of Lake Winnebago, falling to host Marian University 8-1.
"Tough conditions made for a tough day," head coach Tom Troast said. "I was pleased by a number of close matches, both at singles and doubles. Katie and Krista had their doubles match but let it slip away. Just another example of a young team needing match play to learn how to win critical points."
Several Blue Angel netters played tough in both singles and doubles all day, though only junior Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) was able to come out on top, winning at No. 4 singles. Wolk and doubles partner freshman Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) hung tough at No. 3 doubles as well, eventually falling 8-6 to their Sabre opponents.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the attitude of this team," Troast said. "It's a young group learning tough lessons in match play. But, despite the difficult scores and recent terrible weather, every member of this team comes to practice, works hard and is a better player than just a few weeks ago."
Junior Carol Guillen (River Hills, Wis.) nearly pulled of a win at No. 3 singles, but fell 6-2, 7-5 in a very tight second set. Likewise, senior Kat Reynoso (Brookfield, Wis.) and freshman Katelyn Reuter (Waukesha, Wis.) both had strong showings at No. 6 and No. 5 singles respectively.
Next, Mount Mary will take on Milwaukee School of Engineering Thursday under the lights of Hart Park. It will be the makeup date of a postponed match originally scheduled for the Milwaukee Lakefront, but moved to become the Blue Angels' only home event of the season.
Marian University 8, Mount Mary College 1
Team Records: Marian University 7-7; Mount Mary College 0-7
Ripon Netters take down MMC
RIPON, Wis. – The Mount Mary College tennis squad played tough at Ripon College Monday, yet couldn't notch a team victory as the Blue Angels fell 8-1 to the host Redhawks.
The major highlight of the night came at No. 2 singles where freshman Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) picked up her first collegiate win of the year. Olson overcame a 4-6 first set loss to take out Ripon's Ellie Hedberg 7-5, 10-6 in a three-set thriller.
Carol Guillen (River Hills, Wis.) continued to play strong tennis at No. 3 singles, eventually falling 3-6, 2-6 while Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) took a pair of games off Ripon's Elizabeth Ake at No. 3 singles in each of her two sets played.
Mount Mary's struggles continued in doubles competition at Ripon as well, falling 8-2 and No. 1 and No. 3 while getting swept at No. 2.
Both of Mount Mary's matches against Concordia University-Chicago and Milwaukee School of Engineering were postponed due to inclement weather. The CUC match will be played Saturday, September 29 at 10 a.m., working into a pseudo-double-header against Roosevelt University that Saturday in downtown Chicago. This most recent Monday's match against MSOE has yet to be rescheduled.
Ripon College 8, Mount Mary College 1
Team Records: Ripon College 2-2; Mount Mary College 0-6.
Netters drop tight match with Muskies
KOHLER, Wis. – After a whirlwind of the fist week of competition, the Mount Mary College tennis team made full use of its five days off and came out with a flurry at Lakeland College Thursday, playing its best match of the season all around. Despite dropping the final match score 7-2, head coach Tom Troast is very pleased with the strides the Blue Angels have already taken this young season.
"It was an excellent day of tennis," head coach Tom Troast said. "I know our team felt bad about losing the match, but good about their progress. Some very close individual matches that turned at critical moments. As our ladies get more and more match play, we'll learn to win some of those significant points that can determine the outcome of a set."
Junior Carol Guillen (River Hills, Wis.) won her second match of the year, soundly defeating her Muskie opponent at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-4. Senior Kat Reynoso (Brookfield, Wis.) notched her first ever win at the collegiate level, trudging out a hard-fought 7-5, 6-2 victory at No. 6 singles.
In doubles action, the tandem of Briana Lock (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Reynoso faced a 7-0 deficit to start the competition at No. 3. The Blue Angel team rallied to win the next five straight sets, then just ran out of gas, dropping a deuce set to fall 8-5. The doubles team of freshman Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) and senior Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) has continued to improve as well, falling in a close 8-4 decision.
Mount Mary will have the weekend off before traveling northward to Ripon College for a Monday matchup at 4 p.m.
Lakeland College 7, Mount Mary College 2
Team Records: Lakeland College 2-2; Mount Mary College 0-5
Mount Mary swept by Bucs, Pointers
BELOIT, Wis. - A long and difficult opening week for the Mount Mary women's tennis team concluded Saturday with a pair of losses at the Beloit College Triangular. The Blue Angels were swept by both the host Buccaneers and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point as they start the season with a 0-4 mark.
"We are still trying to find ourselves in many of these matches," head coach Tom Troast said. "Our players are adjusting to college competition with some difficult lessons along the way. I'm very pleased with their competitiveness. For right now it's hard on our young team to play seasoned upperclassmen—it's been emotional and a great test for these young athletes."
The Blue Angels opened the day against Beloit, which saw a pair of Mount Mary netters play close matches. Freshman Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) pushed her Buc foe at No. 1, eventually dropping both sets 6-2, 6-3 and junior Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) battled Beloit in the No. 6 spot due to a nagging knee injury, eventually falling 8-6 in the tiebreak second set, 6-3, 7-6.
Entering its second match of a back-to-back schedule, the Blue Angels' gas tank seemed empty against an overpowering UW-Stevens Point squad. While junior Carol Guillen (Milwaukee, Wis.) looked solid at No. 4 for the Blue Angels, dropping her match 6-3, 6-2, she was the only singles player to take more than two games off her Pointer opponent.
"This was a tired Blue Angel team playing its heart out against a large UWSP team in Point's first match of the day," Troast said. "I'm really proud of this this Mount Mary team—they competed very hard during a long, tough week."
Mount Mary will have a few days off before heading northward to Lakeland College Thursday. The extended holiday weekend, paired with a few weekdays off should be just what the Blue Angels need to catch their breaths.
"These women have until Thursday to get some rest and heal both their physical and emotional wounds," Troast said. "We're a bit nicked up right now and some days to recover couldn't have come at a better time."
Lakeland is 1-1 on the season after splitting a pair of Northern Athletics Conference matches Saturday. First serve for Mount Mary's matchup against the Muskies is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Plymouth, Wis.
Beloit College 9, Mount Mary College 0
Team Records: Beloit College 2-1; Mount Mary College 0-3
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 9, Mount Mary College 0
Team Records: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 1-1; Mount Mary College 0-4
Aurora sweeps MMC Tennis
AURORA, Ill.-- The Mount Mary College tennis squad fell 9-0 to Aurora University Thursday night in its second of four matches in this opening week of competition. Significant high temperatures well into the 90-degree range hampered the Blue Angels' efforts as only three netters managed to win more than one set against her singles opponent.
"Our players dealt with very tough conditions today with the intense heat," head coach Tom Troast said. "Our learning curve continues as our younger players will come to understand that adjustment to conditions like these are part of the competitive process."
The match at Aurora featured the collegiate debut of Brooke Slamka at No. 3 doubles and the return of junior Briana Lock (Milwaukee, Wis.), who missed the first outing against Wisconsin Lutheran Monday.
Aurora jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead after sweeping the singles competitions, which were played first Thursday afternoon. The Blue Angels fared a bit better in doubles competition, especially the team of freshman Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) and junior Carol Guillen (Milwaukee, Wis.). Olson and Guillen traded sets at No. 2 with their Spartan opponents before the Aurora tandem pulled away to take the matchup 8-4.
The injury bug reared its ugly head Thursday as well. Senior Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) suffered heat exhaustion after her tough singles match at No. 1, while Lock went down with an ankle strain. Both were treated on site and are expected to make full recoveries before Saturday.
Mount Mary will again hit the road Saturday morning to Beloit College for a double-header. The Blue Angels will start the day a 9 a.m. against the host Buccaneers before taking on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at noon.
Aurora University 9, Mount Mary College 0
Warriors hand Blue Angels season-opening loss
WAUWATOSA, Wis.-- The defending Northern Athletics Conference champion and preseason league favorite looked every bit the part Monday night as host Wisconsin Lutheran College cruised to an 8-1 season-opening non-conference tennis victory over Mount Mary College at Hart Park.
"It was baptism by fire for us tonight with a virtual rookie team playing against a conference champion loaded with returners," Mount Mary head coach Tom Troast said. "Playing a seasoned, championship team early is a wonderful learning experience for us. As we rebuild our program it provided an opportunity for our players to witness where we want to be."
The lone team point earned by Mount Mary came in an exciting No. 3 singles match featuring junior Carol Guillen (Milwaukee, Wis.). Guillen faced a pair of second-set deficits, down 0-2 and 2-4, before rallying to force a tiebreak. The Blue Angel veteran then pushed through the final extra points, securing a thrilling 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) victory.
Three players—freshmen Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) and Katelyn Reuter (Waukesha, Wis.) and senior Mary Holmberg (Wausau, Wis.) all played in their first ever tennis matches in a Blue Angel uniform.
"I was really proud of our freshmen, Krista Olson and Katelyn Reuter," Troast said. "Their matches were very competitive with a lot of intensity. Krista held her own against Hendee at No. 1 singles, with some close games and great points."
Despite great play from some fresh faces, only three Blue Angels singles netters other than Guillen were able to steal a set off of her opponent. The tandem of freshman Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) and junior Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) was able to notch a pair of set victories off the Warriors at No. 1 doubles, but fell 8-2. Wolk, who was named team captain, returned to the court for the first time since 2010 after being sidelined all of last year recovering from a knee injury.
The Blue Angels will return to the courts Thursday as they travel to Chicago's west side to battle Aurora University. Match time against the Spartans is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Washington Middle School. Mount Mary, which plays four of its 11 scheduled matches in this first week of competition, will finish up the week with a double-header Saturday at Beloit College, taking on the host Buccaneers and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Wisconsin Lutheran College 8, Mount Mary College 1
The Season Begins