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Senior Alex Frank dominated in singles and doubles Sunday afternoon as the St. Thomas women’s tennis team defeated visiting St. Cloud State 7-2.
Frank, who played No. 1 singles and doubles, used solid ground strokes and good net play to defeat her opponent 6-3, 6-2.
“Frank’s victory at one singles kind of set the tone,” coach Terry Peck said. “She did a great job of playing somebody [who] was going to be a very tough match for her.”
St. Thomas won two of three doubles matches and was able to overpower D-II St. Cloud in its singles matches, only losing one.
“[The win] is important for us,” Peck said. “Our women are so young with seven freshmen on the team. We need to establish that we can play with anybody because that’s a part of our strategy for winning.”
Peck said high-quality practices are crucial to the Tommies’ success.
“Where we have an edge, I would like to think, is that we’re working really hard,” Peck said. “We have really sound practices so we’re improving each day and each week.”
Freshman Rachel Wright said she agrees.
“I think our ambition is the biggest thing,” Wright said. “We’re young, but we’re ready to play.”
Wright and her twin sister Anna Wright both won in their singles matches. Anna Wright defeated Maren Holstad 6-0, 6-2, while Rachel Wright defeated Samatha Boushek in a tiebreaker 6-1, 1-6, 10-8.
“My match started out pretty strong,” Rachel Wright said. “I won the first set, and then she just kept moving me around, and I got really tired in the second set. But I somehow pulled it out in the tiebreaker.”
Rachel Wright added, “I kind of just told myself, ‘This is where you’ve got to dig deeper. You’ve got to stick with it and get the win.’”
Senior Madeline Gail and sophomore Lauren Shultz also won singles matches for the Tommies. Gail, who plays No. 2 singles, won her match in dramatic fashion, defeating Katie Kotschevar in a tiebreaker 6-2, 4-6, 12-10.
“She played a great first set,” Peck said. “Just like Rachel Wright, she kind of drifted in the second set and lost focus. Instead of trying to win, she was trying not to lose. But she managed to pull it together and stay strong and gut it out and get the win.”
The Tommies’ victory makes them 2-0 on the season, and the team opens MIAC play next weekend against St. Mary’s.
“They have three players [who] are second to none in the Midwest,” Peck said. “We’re looking forward to seeing if our depth wins out. This will be a good test.”
Ryan Shaver can be reached at email@example.com.