Serving up wins

by John Miller

The women’s tennis team is looking to end its season with a string of wins. Four matches remain in the regular season, all against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opponents, and the Dragons have a chance to finish in first place.

The conference schedule included a double-header on April 2 against the University of Minnesota-Crookston and Bemidji State. Before Saturday, Crookston  was winless, while Bemidji was 8-4 overall but just 3-4 in NSIC play.

The team finishes the season in Winona, Minnesota, with matches against Winona State April 8 and Upper Iowa April 9. As of Friday, Winona State was 2-5 in conference play with an overall 2-7 record. The Dragons’ toughest opponent was Upper Iowa, who was atop the NSIC with a perfect 7-0 conference record and 8-7 overall.

“Four conference wins to end the season would bump us up to second place in the conference, which would be awesome,” senior Ashley Wood said.

“We’re just going to play to the best of our abilities and hopefully get some wins,” junior Jessamy Jones added.

Over spring break, the team traveled to Tampa, Florida, for a match against the University of Tampa. The women then made the trek to Orlando to take on William Smith College and Bryant University. The Dragons came out winless in the three matchups, but Wood was optimistic about the experience.

“We had a ton of fun over spring break,” she said. “I think we played much better than we have in years past. We were competitive with William Smith, losing 5-4, which is better than we have done in previous years.”

MSUM lost its final home match of the year 9-0 to Division I foe Northern Colorado. Previously, the Dragons were undefeated at home. With the loss, the Dragons fell to a 6-5 record. Still, the team was among the top five teams in the NSIC this weekend.

Leading the way this season is sophomore Ricquel Ramsbottom with a 7-3 singles mark. Jones, Wood and senior Morgan Smith are not far behind at 7-4. Coming into the weekend, the team’s singles mark is 38-28. In doubles play, Ramsbottom and Smith are 6-4, while Jones and Wood are 7-4.

The NSIC tournament begins in Minnetonka, Minnesota, April 22.

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