Women’s tennis maintains win streak

Sophomore+Morgan+Bullen+goes+to+return+the+ball+at+the+team%E2%80%99s+practice+on+Thursday%2C+March+28+whilre+preparing+for+their+matches+against+Illinois+Insitute+of+Technology+and+Coe+College+on+Saturday%2C+March+31.+Photo+by+Emma+Gannaway.

Sophomore Morgan Bullen goes to return the ball at the team’s practice on Thursday, March 28 whilre preparing for their matches against Illinois Insitute of Technology and Coe College on Saturday, March 31. Photo by Emma Gannaway.

Clint Ugolini

The Augustana women’s tennis team is off to a 15-2 start this 2018-19 season. After being CCIW Champions in the fall, they are looking to continue their strong play into the end of the spring season.
Their overall singles record as a team is 103-45 and 43-5 in conference, while their overall doubles record is 59-15, posting a 23-1 doubles record in conference.
Individually, the singles leaders for the team are junior Zeana Badawi (20-6), sophomore Annie Timm (20-6) and sophomore Maleeha Chowdury (13-1). The doubles teams are led by senior captains Madeline Lombardi and Caitlyn Schaffer (20-5).
Augie tennis took the title of CCIW Champions during the fall season after they went undefeated in conference 8-0. Schaffer talked about the goals for the team for the rest of the spring.
“I think the overall goals for the spring season is to repeat our success and continue our reign as the CCIW Champions,” Schaffer said. “Our goal remains the same to continue working hard on and off the court as the season progresses, as this is what has been working for us.”
Going undefeated in the fall, both of the team’s losses have come this spring season. Lombardi talked about whether there’s any concern with the two recent defeats moving forward.
“No, not at all. Those teams are some of the best competition we’ve faced so far this year and we fought hard during those matches,” Lombardi said. “There’s no losing in tennis, only learning. Those losses only motivate us during our practices to get better.”
The success for the tennis team isn’t new this season. Over the past four years, they have posted records of 24-9 (2014-2015), 24-8 (2015-2016), 25-7 (2016-2017) and 19-9 (2017-2018). Schaffer touched on how the team has kept steady high records over recent years.
“The team has had so much success over the past couple of years through having a strong mindset. We had some excellent leaders in the past that we still look up to and mention before our matches. We’ve managed to pass that knowledge to each other as the years have gone on,” Schaffer said.
For Schaffer and Lombardi, this season is their last go-around. Finishing out their Augustana careers, Lombardi talked about what being a senior on this team means to her.
“It’s bittersweet. I love my team and it’s going to be one of the hardest goodbyes I’ll ever have to do, but I’m excited to get out in the real world and find my path,” Lombardi said. “For now, I’m enjoying the time I have left with them and being on an amazing team that I’ve gotten to know so well.”
Schaffer echoed the feelings of her co-captain.
“Personally, I am very grateful for my experience at Augie as a senior with tennis, but I understand it’s time for me to move on and pass what I’ve learned down to the younger players,” Schaffer said. “It’s very exciting knowing that I will be progressing with what I want to do with my career, but also very sad leaving behind the relationships I’ve made over the last four years. I will be holding on to these memories as I walk across the stage.”
Before the seniors are completely done, they still have business to take care of. They took down Illinois Institute of Technology 7-2 and Coe College 9-0 on Sunday, Mar. 31. Their next meet is Friday, Apr. 5 at home where they take on Central at 4 p.m.

Featured Image: Sophomore Morgan Bullen goes to return the ball at the team’s practice on Thursday, March 28 while preparing for their matches against Illinois Institute of Technology and Coe College on Saturday, March 31. Photo by Emma Gannaway.