Monday, January 26, 2015

UWW Men open spring season against two D-1 opponents

Hawks fly together!

The Warhawk Men’s Tennis team took on a couple of D-1 opponents on Friday in Rockford, IL.  It’s always great to start the season with tough competition and this weekend’s matches were just what the doctor ordered.  First up was host Northern Illinois University Huskies.  We had a spark to our team over the past couple of weeks as Michael Treis (Jr, Brookfield Central) transferred from D-1 Western Michigan University to start the semester as a Warhawk.  Practices have been very competitive and lively over the past two weeks, and it was nice to see the hard work pay off, with some great results.  For the website story and the box scores for both matches go to:

First up was host Northern Illinois University Huskies. Doubles was very close, and we had an early lead at #1D (Laktash/Humphreys) that evaporated, and we lost a tough one at #3D (Butler/Navratil), but we won at #2 doubles (Shklyar/Treis) in a tiebreak.  At the D-1 level whichever team wins the majority of doubles matches takes a 1-0 lead, so we found ourselves down 1-0.  In singles we started slowly as the guys took a little time to get up to speed at this high level of competition.  Humphreys started off down a quick break, but fought back hard only to lose 7-6, 6-4 at#1.  Raman lost a tight one at #3 6-4, 7-6.  Laktash forced his match to a third set at #4 before losing in a match tiebreak.  So although we lost 7-0, we really pushed the Huskies…mush!

The night cap was an instant classic.  Doubles and singles were both back and forth all night against D-1 University of Illinois-Chicago.  In doubles we split the first two courts to finish.  At #2D (Laktash/Humphreys) lost to a couple of great players, then our #3D team (Butler/Beck) dug deep for an exciting tiebreak win to send it to the deciding court at 1D.  There Treis/Shklyar were also headed to a tiebreak.  It went back and forth to 5-5 before the boys got the minibreak and the win 7-6 (5).  This gave the team needed momentum and a 1-0 lead headed into singles.  In singles UIC’s middle of the lineup was just too good at the 3,4,and 5 lines, and took a 3-1 lead with victories at those spots.  Treis steam rolled his opponent at #2 to make it 2-3.  Humphreys after a slow start and a 1-4 hole, really stepped it up for a 6-4, 6-3 win knotting the team score at 3-3.  This left it all up to one of our new freshmen Matt Zurowski making his dual match debut at #6.  He had lost a tough 7-6 first set and then fell behind 0-5 at the time Humphreys evened the team score.  At that time he turned things around and mounted a comeback winning the next 3 games making it 3-5 in the second set and swung the pressure back to his opponent with a lot of energy from the benches for both teams.  His opponent came up with a big serve game to take the match and give UIC the 4-3 victory.
       Butler at doubles crunch time 

During these matches we were able to get some valuable experience to so many players.  Nine different Warhawks saw lineup play in singles and seven players got into the doubles lineup.  Our coaches agree that we have seen improvement over the past two weeks, and that what we want continue.  Improve every week with hard work.

                                                               Treis Shklar match point 

Next up for the men, is another weekend of play against scholarship teams.  On Sunday, Feb 1 the Warhawks take on D-1 UW-Green Bay followed by NAIA Cardinal Stritch.  Both matches will be held at Western Racquet Club in Green Bay.  We hope to see some of our fan base out there taking in some great tennis!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Megan second in the nation

Lady Warhawks win eighth consecutive WIAC conference title!

The UW-Whitewater women's tennis team had a weekend for the ages!  In the closest WIAC tournament in my time as coach the excitement level was certainly high!  The Warhawks ended up needing every single match they won as they ecaped the championship winning by just one point!  Late on Sunday afternoon the final two matches were put on the court.  At #1 doubles Alicia Beck/Bridgid McGuire were taking on UWLaX in that flight's championship match and Ashley Miller/Rachel Siemon were taking on UWEC at #3 double for that flight's third place match.  UWW needed to win one of those two matches to win the match and they did get exactly that: one win from Beck and McGuire to seal the deal.

What made this championship special was the manner in which it was accomplished.  All six singles players for UWW and five of the six doubles players competing had never stepped on the court of the WIAC conference tournament in the past.  This was because two of the team's top players (the only two with WIAC conf tournament experience) had injuires that kept them out of the lineup.  Megan Humphreys broke her thumb in practice 9 days prior to the championship keeping her out of both singles and doubles, and Amy Upthagrove had an arm injury that held her out of singles action.  So with the youth of this team it was impossible to know how the players were going to be able to handle the pressure and play on the big stage at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, WI.  Well, as you may have guessed, they stepped up and got the job done.  Looking around near the end of the tournament, before we clinched the title, I couldn't  help but to feel so proud of all these young ladies that played so well to lead the team under adverse conditions.  The situation certainly made it exciting and all 18 players on the roster were a part of the win as we needed a lot of support from everyone in the program.  We were able to win 5 of the 9 flights even with many players either playing up a couple of positions or moving into the lineup from the bench. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Humpreys runner-up at nationals, Beck/McGuire 8th place

The women's tennis team sent three players to represent the Midwest Region at this past weekend's ITA Small College National Championships in Sumter, SC.  Megan Humphreys earned a spot in the singles draw by winning the ITA Midwest Regional Singles title in September.  Bridgid McGuire and Alicia Beck earned their spot by winning the ITA Midwest Regional Doubles title.

What a great experience it was!  Megan Humphreys set new heights for the Warhawk Tennis Program placing 2nd place at the event! McGuire/Beck went 0-3 to finish 8th, but the freshmen duo gained incredible experience and match play that should help them down the road as we will be playing so many great teams and events later in the season.  We are certainly proud of all three of them reaching this prestigious event and it was a great week to be a Warhawk!

Humphreys showed very solid mental toughness throughout the tournament, and had to rely on her recent new sources of offense to reach the finals.  All three of her opponents were big hitters, and she was able to neutralize them with her speed and consistency and finish points when she got the chance to attack.  In her first match vs the #2 seed from Texas Lutheran she was down 2-6, 1-5 on the brink of losing when she dug in and pounded out the next 6 games to take the second set 7-5.  She was then again down 1-3 in the third set, before rolling off the next five games for the win.  In her second match against Vassar, she faced different adversity.  She won the first set, then her opponent really hit her stride and played great tennis evening the match.  Humphreys took a 4-1 lead then, but Vassar brought it back to 4-3, before Humphreys sealed the deal.  In the Championship match Humphreys was being drilled corner to corner by Johns Hopkins' Rao with huge forehands and she dropped the first set 6-2.  She then caught up to the speed of the match, playing flawless tennis, evening the match with a 6-3 second set of her own.  In the decisive third set Humphreys fell behind 1-3.  She kept fighting getting it back to 4-4, before Rao went to her weapons and hit three winners in the final game for a 6-4 third set victory.  For her grit and sportsmanship, Humphreys was also awarded the tournament's sportsmanship award winner (across 4 divisions).

In doubles McGuire/Beck drew the top seeded team from Claremont, CA in the first round and fell 6-0, 6-2.  In the second round they played Emory.  They started off slowly got down 6-1, 4-1, then started playing good tennis but fell 6-1, 6-3.  In their final match they started to play a little more loosely but fell to a solid team from NYU 6-2, 6-1.  It took a little while for our freshman team to get used to the strong competition, but like I said, it's an experience that they will certainly grow from, and they took it all

Women do very well against scholarship programs

The UW-Whitewater Women's team hosted the Warhawk Fall Invite this past weekend.  The competition was stiff as nearly all of the teams in attendance were scholarship programs.  The eight team field included 3 D-1 programs (UW-Milwaukee, UWGB, and Western, IL), a D-2 program (Grand Valley State), 2 NAIA programs (Olivet Nazarene and Cardinal Stritch), and 2 D-3s (UWW and Hope).
There were 8 singles flights and 4 doubles flights filled for this tournament.  UWW put in 18 players into the draws, so we actually moved several players up a flight or two from where they normally play and they still did very well and come up with an overall record of 37-20 in all the draws combined!

Highlights included Siemon/Hendricks winning the #3 doubles draw, Talyansky winning the #4 singles draw.  We had an all-UWW third place match at #1 doubles with Humphreys/Wallace beating McGuire/Beck.  Wallace also made it to the finals of the #5 draw and Beck won that consolation draw.  Siemon made it to the finals of the #6 draw and Miller won that consolation draw.  Amanda Dick won the consolation of the #3 draw and Humphreys got 3rd place in the #1 flight getting wins over Mardee Marar of UWM and Claire Cooper of Hope.  

Women win ITA singles and doubles titles!! Men do well at ITAs as well!

The Warhawk Men took their turn at the ITA regional championship tournament this past weekend, and had some solid results.  We've come accustomed to coming away with titles over the past few years.  We were not able to repeat as singles and doubles champions this year, but we did get some solid results. 

There were actually two tournaments run simultaneously in St Peter.  The ITA regionals and the Midwest Open (for those players not entered into the ITA).  In the ITA tournament there were over 100 players and 20 teams from around the Midwest.  In the Midwest open there were 125 players.  In the ITA we had 5 players reach the round of 32 and Humphreys (returning champion and top seed) and Bisbee reached the round of 16 before being knocked off.  In doubles action top seeded Humphreys/Shklyar played very well before being knocked off by a strong team from Coe College in the semifinals on Sunday.  Other highlights included an all UWW consolation draw final after Beck/Raman beat teammates Laktash/Navratil to win that draw.  In the Midwest Open Yuvaraj reached the round of 16 and Matt Zurowski looked very solid in his run to the quarterfinals.

Wow is all I can say.  What a weekend!  The Lady Hawks won the ITA Midwest Regional crowns in both singles and doubles and there was an all Warhawk doubles final to boot.

Megan Humphreys defended her title from last year.  It's always tough to defend with the pressure and the target on your back.  But Humphreys did not flinch.  She won the tournament without dropping a set.
Doubles, Doubles, Doubles!!!  Best year ever for doubles. Amy Upthagrove/Megan Humphreys found themselves in the finals against freshmen team mates Bridgid McGuire/Alicia Beck after both teams felt the pressure of holding off their semi-final opponents (St Kates and Gustavsu, respectively) off down the stretch. Then the freshmen duo knocked off the sophomores in battle of solid tennis 6-3, 6-3.  Our #3 team Miller/Wallace had a big win in the consolation draw in the semis knocking off the #3 seed from Carthage, then lost a great match to St Kates.  Talyansky/Siemon won the Gustie fall open draw going 5-0!  Hendricks/Goebel really hit their stride in the semis of the Gustie Fall invite in a great atmoshere in the bubble losing to a very good team from Coe.