Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

A higher bar: Women’s tennis sets new record

File Photo, Observer Staff

First-year Rachel Kammerzelt practices her backhand during practice.  Photo by Alex Cintado.
First-year Rachel Kammerzelt practices her backhand during practice.
Photo by Alex Cintado.

Determination, hard work, and mental focus were key elements in the Augustana women’s tennis team’s record-breaking season. The record previously stood at 20 team wins combined between the fall and spring seasons. Following Augustana’s 8-1 victory over Luther College on April 19, the team had officially won more matches than ever before.
Junior Aileen MacDonald said she felt especially confident about this year’s team and their ability to succeed.
“This is definitely the strongest team that Augustana has seen in women’s tennis,” said MacDonald. “The end goal for this season was to beat that record, and everyone had that mentality.”
MacDonald, who studied abroad during Fall term, said she was disappointed she couldn’t have contributed to the team’s early successes in the fall, but jumped at the opportunity to play, lead, and contribute to the team’s historic victories this term.
“I was re-energized once I came back,” said MacDonald. “I wanted to contribute in the spring and I made sure that I had the right mindset and gave it my all in practice.”
Mindset has been a key factor in this team’s exceptional chemistry. Head Coach Jon Miedema stated he has been pleased with this team’s work ethic from the beginning, and how it has contributed to confident wins over teams like Luther and Wheaton.
“At the beginning of the year, I knew this team had a lot of talent and could do great things,” stated Miedema in an email. “This team has shown great chemistry, attitude and effort every single day. As a result, the success isn’t a mystery but by design.”
That design seems to have been strong focus and a willingness to contribute on an individual as well as a team basis. MacDonald says her personal goals for this season have been to lead by example as a captain and keep a positive attitude during matches, even if they didn’t go to plan.
“My attitude and energy affects those around me, and as a captain, it’s more important than ever,” said MacDonald. “Even if I didn’t have a great match, going in to other things with a great attitude anyway was also important to help everyone else out. If I give 100 percent effort as an individual, I can help shape that into the team’s goals.”
The Vikings will face new challenges as they vie for both the CCIW and National championships. Nevertheless, the team remains confident and ready to give what they can to keep their high spirits alive.
“We’re gonna face a lot of tough teams moving forward, but…I’m confident that we could beat any team in the country,” said MacDonald.
“There are always challenges every season,” stated Coach Miedema,” but these are just opportunities for growth.”
One way or another, the women’s tennis team will be able to end this season on a high note and with a special spot in Augustana sports history.
“It’s been exciting for us because we set the bar a little bit higher,” said MacDonald.

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A higher bar: Women’s tennis sets new record