Women’s Tennis bows out of the CCIW third place to Millikin


Lauren Pillion

First-year Kyliah Shirley keeps a strong follow-through at one of the Augie Vikings Matches this past fall.

Silas Gilklay

Augie edged closer to the latter stages of the CCIW competition with an excellent performance against Carthage in a close match but could not retain that streak when they faced North Central and Millikin. The women’s tennis team entered the knockout with a win against top-seeded Carthage in a close match. Carthage, being ranked as one of the tournament’s top-rated teams, failed to justify their place in the conference when the Vikings upset them in a roller-coaster win. 

Unfortunately for the Vikings, a stalemate changed their quest for more wins as they fell to intense competition from North Central in an action-packed semifinal game. The women’s tennis promise faded in a 5-4 double that was won by North  Central. After failing to reach the finals, Augie secured a slot in third place but tasted another defeat against Millikin to finish fourth place in the CCIW fall tournament. The team was defeated in their final CCIW match of the fall season, bowing out in an 8-1 scoreline to Millikin.

Senior Nicole Pacheco, who’s at the end of her time with the team, feels that they played well in the tournament. But, according to Pacheco, losing the game against the Millikin affected the team’s spirit because they went into a conference to win. 

“I think we competed as much as we could in the match against Millikin,” Pacheco said. “We were a bit nervous from the start of the competition, but I do feel that we had a lot of confidence as a team and did all we could to win something.”  

Reacting to the team’s performance against Millikin, coach DeSimone, a new face on the team, believes the team knew going into the tournament how difficult the competition would be. He also said that he was excited about the team’s performance in the doubles because they showed great determination despite the competition they encountered. 

“So our women’s team certainly played well on the double score. And that ended up being the difference against Carthage to qualify them for the semifinals and ultimately, the third and fourth place match,” Desimone said. “We came out with a strategy knowing that we were playing some of the best teams, and so our players really embraced that.” 

Despite the loss, junior Grace Rider believes their performance in the semifinals and third place has been better than the regular season. Being dubbed as one of the lowest teams didn’t pressure them as they flipped the predictions to them, winning the match against Carthage and advancing to the next round. 

“We were seated fifth, we played the fourth place team and beat them. Because of that, we were the lowest team moving into the semifinals,” Rider said. “The pressure was all on North Central, it was no pressure on us because we weren’t projected to win that match.” 

The women’s team is hoping to bounce back from their losses when they begin the spring season in February. They are expected to face Coe in their first match.