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Tennis team wins at home, prepares for upcoming tournament

October 15, 2009

The UW-River Falls tennis team played their last match of the season, and for some, the last home match of their collegiate careers. Senior co-captains Cassie Wood and Katie Ostrowski played their last home matches as Falcon tennis players Oct. 29.

“It’s bittersweet,” Wood said. “We’ve been here for four years.”

Wood and Ostrowski both graduated from the same high school in southern Minnesota-United South Central High school- which is located in Wells, Minn.

The Falcons enjoyed a 6-3 match victory against the UW-Oshkosh Titans, a team which is similar in the WIAC standings.

“This is a pretty even match; the two records are similar,” tennis Head Coach Lee Lueck said.

Wood said that the tough matches against even opponents are the most fun for the team to play.

“Teams that are too easy or too tough are not as much fun,” Wood said.

The match began outdoors at the University tennis courts with the six singles matches. The Falcons enjoyed wins from matches 3-6. Freshmen Jenny Paxton and Amy Goertzen and juniors Stacia Kozel and Brittany Bonine all recorded victories in singles for an early singles lead.

All of the Falcons’ victories came in two set matches, except for Paxton’s. She lost her first set 3-6, before coming back to win the next two sets 6-1, 6-3.

After the finish of the singles matches, the teams went inside to the Knowles Center for doubles play. The team made the decision to go inside after temperatures fell to the low 40’s.

Although the teams switched courts, the Falcons experienced more of the same success. The Falcons won two of the three doubles matches to finish the contest.

The first doubles team with Bonine and sophomore Naomi Wolff won the match 8-4. The third doubles team also won 8-4, with Amy Johnson and Goertzen contributing for the match win.

The win puts the Falcons at 2-3 in conference play, placing them in a tie for fourth place with UW-Stevens Point. The win also separated the Falcons from the Titans, who are now 1-4 in conference play.

The Falcons tennis team is relatively young, with six of its 12 players being freshmen.

“We have a lot of new recruits, which deepened our lineup,” said Ostrowski.

Lueck is taking the youthfulness of his team into consideration when setting goals for the upcoming WIAC season ending tournament. “Our goal is to better our position from last year,” he said. The team placed sixth in the tournament last year, which is last place.

Lueck said that being more successful than in the past is important for the team’s confidence for future seasons.

“Depth is good for the confidence in our young group,” Lueck said.

Before the season-ending tournament on Oct. 24 and 25 in Madison, the team still has one more conference match against Eau Claire. Eau Claire is 3-1 in conference play this season.