Oles surge past Bethel into playoffs

Rebounding from a tough afternoon against St. Thomas two weeks ago, Ole women’s tennis made an emphatic statement against division rival Bethel University last weekend in Lakeville. With a series of performances that were nothing short of dominant, St. Olaf downed Bethel quickly and convincingly, walking off the courts with an 8-1 victory in the regular season finale. Thanks to an impressive string of wins, the tennis team heads into the MIAC playoffs as a dangerous 4th seed with optimistic expectations for advancing into the second round.

Maya MacGibbon ’16 performed admirably in her final regular season match as an Ole, defeating Bethel’s Samantha Hindt in straight sets (6-3, 6-2). Not to be outdone, fellow senior Alisa Hall ’16 took home a victory of her own against Sydney Parkinson (2-6, 6-4, 1-0). Their dominance was matched by a powerful sophomore class; Margaret Zimmermann ’18 convincingly topped opponent Mattie Kiddler (7-5, 6-4) and Erin McDonald ’18 outclassed Bethel’s Anna Browning (6-1, 6-4).

The singles matches featured healthy competition that swung in the Oles’ favor, but the Ole women demonstrated their talent with a complete sweep of the afternoon’s doubles matches. MacGibbon and Hall defeated Bethel’s team of Parkinson and Jill Weintzettel (8-2), while the sophomore duo of Zimmermann and McDonald took care of business against Kidder and Anna Browning (9-7), both doubles teams punctuating their singles performances with strong team efforts. Rounded out by a third victory from Kellis Brandt ’19 and Bailey Kent ’16 (8-6), Ole women went undefeated on the doubles’ court for the entire series of matches.

This admirable performance was the largest margin of victory for the women’s tennis team since April 9 against Saint Mary’s University (also 8-1) and should send the Oles surging into the MIAC playoffs with confidence. After all, after securing the 4th seed behind Gustavus, St. Thomas and bitter rival Carleton, their opponent in the first round is Bethel University for the second time in a week. It should be a manageable task to follow their triumphant weekend and impressive season (7-3) with a comparable performance. Wins like the one this past weekend are the types of dominating performances that give teams momentum and make them dangerous heading into the playoffs.