Women’s tennis gets blanked by the hornets

UND junior Lacey Sprinkel prepares to send the ball back in a match last year. Photo by Nick Nelson/ The Dakota Student

UND hosted Sacramento State in a Big Sky Women’s tennis match on Sunday.

The morning started with both teams battling it out in doubles action. There was three doubles matches on three courts, but the most exciting match was on the middle court.

UND would send out the duo of freshman Preethi Kasilingam and junior Faith Lee to take on the Hornets.

It was a back and forth affair with both teams battling hard. Both teams played excellent defensively and took advantage of bad shots by the other duo. UND would eventually win that match by a score of 6-4.

On the other two courts, the Fighting Hawks had Courtney Brackin and Aliza Deming. The team of Nau and McCall from the Hornets overwhelmed the Hawks couple and won the double match 6-0.

Lacey Sprinkel and Mimi Yunker were the final duo for UND, and they too couldn’t handle the Hornets attack, losing 6-2. With the Hornets winning two out of the three doubles matches, they won a quick first point and led 1-0 going into the singles portion of the match.

The singles portion was similar to the doubles matches, in that both teams played extremely hard.

Mimi Yunker faced Sacramento State senior Jennifer Ong, who hails from Australia. The first set was yet again a back and forth affair, but Ong just outlasted the UND sophomore, winning the first set 7-5. Ong was a little more in control in the second set, winning 6-3.

Without a doubt, the longest singles match of the day featured Faith Lee from the Fighting Hawks and Ana Loaiza from SSU. The first set was dominated by Loaiza, but Lee wasn’t going to go down without a fight. She would take a 5-3 lead in set two, but Loaiza would come back and win the second set. The score was 7-5 in both sets.

Overall, there were six singles matches and UND came up short in every one. Sacramento State would leave Grand Forks defeating UND 7-0.

UND coach Tom Wynne said the loss against the Hornets was more mental than anything.

“We still battle in their heads,” Wynne said. “Where they feel like they have to do stuff that’s beyond themselves to beat this team, and we had only two competitive single matches today, and we need to change that.”

Despite the struggles, Wynne saw some things he liked.

“Faith had an excellent match,” Wynne said. “She won in doubles with Preethi, and had a singles match that could’ve gone either way. She’s been up and down, but today she was strong.”

The loss to Sacramento State drops the Fighting Hawks to 0-7 in the Big Sky Conference and 3-14 overall. Because they have yet to win a conference game, UND currently sits in last place in the Big Sky.

The Hawks head out on the road for their next match as they visit Cedar City, Utah, for a Big Sky match with Southern Utah.

Hunter Plante is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]