The St. Olaf women’s tennis team took on the College of St. Benedict on April 18 in a MIAC clash that was important to both teams’ playoff aspirations. Nothing could stop the Oles, as they rolled to an 8-1 victory.
The match started off in a troublesome fashion for the Oles, as the number one double tandem of Margaret Zimmerman ’18 and Kristi Kroker ’15 fell to a heavy 0-8 defeat. However, St. Olaf rallied in the number two and three doubles positions, with Lisa Hall ’16 and Maya MacGibbon ’16 winning second doubles 8-4, and Erin McDonald ’18 and Bailey Kent ’16 giving the Oles a 2-1 lead with a tight 8-6 victory at the third doubles position.
With a slender advantage heading into singles play, the Oles were relentless, winning all six matches in straight sets on their way to a dominant victory. Hall led the way at number one singles, winning 6-3, 6-4. Hall has an outstanding 12-2 record in singles over the course of the season.
Kroker had a battle at number two singles, where she edged her opponent by a scoreline of 7-5, 6-4. Not to be outdone, MacGibbon controlled her third singles match from start to finish, recording a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Zimmerman also fought through a tough first set at fourth singles, which she won 6-4. However, she raced away with the second set 6-1 to score a comfortable win. The fifth and sixth singles matches proved to be no problem for the Oles, as Erin Hynes ’15 and Kent won their matches 6-1, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-0 respectively.
The Oles, with a conference record of 6-2, have secured their playoff spot, despite having two remaining regular season matches to complete. They will be joined in the playoffs by the University of St. Thomas, Gustavus Adolphus College, Carleton College, College of St. Catherine and one other team that has yet to be determined.
St. Olaf appears destined to begin its postseason campaign in the quarterfinal round on April 29. The Oles will be looking to improve on last season’s performance, where they fell in the quarterfinal to College of St. Catherine 4-5.