The regular season has come to a close for the Knox College womens tennis team, as the Prairie Fire headed to Waukesha, Wisconsin to face Mt. Mary College and Carroll University, before heading back home to deal with visitors, Illinois Wesleyan University. It was a weekend of mixed results, as the team nabbed another win, but dropped the other two matches to close out the season. The opening match of the day did not go all that well for the women, who were faced with tough opponents throughout the day. Carroll mounted quite an onslaught, and dropped the Fire 0-9, hammering all the way through. One high mark on the Fire’s stat sheet was the play by freshman Katie Beadling, who took her opponent to 6-1, 7-5, the closest battle of the day. Any time a freshman shows this much promise, it is a sign of good things to come for the program, as well as for the individual. Though the outcome was a disappointing one, the Fire took the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
The second match of the day against Mt. Mary went better for the Fire. They crushed their opponents, taking the match 7-2. In every win, Knox won by at least three points per set, and the only two they dropped were close ones; a doubles that went against the Fire 8-6, and a singles match featuring senior Alexa Hagen that was lost in tie breakers, 10-5. It was a glorious day for the team, and they rode the high into the next day’s battle with Illinois Wesleyan.
“Winning our second match on Saturday was really liberating from our consecutive losses,” said freshman Jordan Kuban. “It was a solid win.” Kuban won, or was involved in winning, two of the matches in Saturday afternoon’s triumph over the women’s team from Mt. Mary’s, and plays #2 singles.
On Sunday, Illinois Wesleyan University came to town to face an admittedly drained Prairie Fire squad. After the previous day’s trials, the team suffered on their first step a bit, and unfortunately were unable to muster more than a couple of wins on the way to a 6-3 loss to Wesleyan. The glimmers of hope for the Fire on this disappointing final regular season match included freshman Rachel Clark, who defeated her opponent 6-3, 6-0, and two doubles combos; those of freshman Megan Funk and Alexa Hagen, who won a squeaker at 8-7, and freshman Rachel Clark and Katie Beadling, who defeated their adversaries 8-6. “Yeah, Sunday was a real learning experience,” noted Kuban, who had been solid all weekend. “All our losses provide an opportunity for us to learn something about our game.”