Women’s Tennis Swinging Through Conference Schedule


Ethan Humble

Junior Emily King slaps a backhand return in her No. 1 doubles match against Grand View University. She and Anna Wanek won the match 8-0.

by Ethan Humble, Staff Reporter

The women’s tennis team is in good form as they enter the final weeks of their fall campaign.

The team sits at 5-3 overall and 3-2 in American Rivers Conference play after their most recent outing against Grand View on Tuesday. After their 3-5 record in the ARC last year, the women need just one more conference win to ensure they improve from their previous sixth-place finish.

After dropping a tough road match to Wartburg 8-1, the Storm rallied to defeat Central 5-4 in what has been the highlight match of the year for the team thus far. The triumph marked the first time that the program has beaten the Dutch since April 16, 2013.

Head Coach Faith Bliss is an alumnus from Central and said that the match felt pretty good to win, but it was far from easy to watch.

“When Donni was in [the deciding match], I could not ever be next to her court. I felt like I was going to throw up with how intense it was,” Bliss said.

Sophomore Donni Kinghorn would win the deciding match for her team at No. 5 singles after fending off three match points from Central’s Sarah Schirm.

Kinghorn’s teammate Kennedi Wright admired her ability to stay calm when the pressure is at its highest.

“She is able to go out there and just play calmly when some of us would get in our heads and think too much,” Wright said.

After their thriller win against Central, the team was again victorious against Buena Vista 7-2 in Storm Lake. The top of the lineup was strong, winning the top five singles matches and the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles match on route to their 3-1 conference start.

Last Saturday, the team faced the mighty Norse from Luther and came out with an 8-1 loss. The team’s lone win came at No. 1 singles from Anna Wanek 2-6, 6-2, 17-15.

Junior teammate Emily King said that Wanek was a great acquisition to the team and has helped the team win with her consistency.

“She is a really good player and has definitely been a great addition to the team dynamic and obviously the lineup,” King said. “She a very consistent hitter too.”

Sophomore Wright also emphasizes Wanek’s endurance when it comes to the long matches that she has had to play in.

“It is pretty clear she can go the distance. She is such an athlete being in both basketball and tennis,” she said. “She can play in long matches and sustain herself for long periods of time.”

Since then, the team has gone 2-1 in non-conference matches with wins over Cornell College and Grand View University and a loss to Wisconsin Lutheran College.

“The [team] is playing really well and having a lot of fun,” Coach Bliss said. “We have a no-quit mentality this year that I am really impressed with.”

The women’s tennis team will round out duel play with their matches against Loras and Coe this Friday and Saturday, respectively, both of which are at home.