Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Three women’s tennis players ace 2023 CCIW All-Conference

Ngan Vu
Caitlyn Hanulikova, a senior majoring in public health and sociology, is recognized on the All-CCIW list.

During the 2023 season, the women’s tennis team saw three players win awards in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). 

First-Year Anna-Maria Huebel was named the CCIW’s First-Year Student-Athlete of the Year recipient and First Team All-CCIW, a feat that hasn’t happened for the team since the 2020-21 season. Senior Caitlyn Hanulikova was named to the Second Team All-CCIW and sophomore Hannah Colbert was awarded the CCIW RESPECT award. 

These awards showcase the dedication and skills the athletes have for their sport.

“The RESPECTaward was actually under the radar, so that wasn’t too much. But the other two like the all-conference awards and the First-Year of the Year award were unreal and it also looks good on the program and shows that we work hard, so it was good,” Colbert said.

Huebel had a record of 5-2 in doubles this season, which helped earn her a spot in the First Team All-CCIW. Hanulikova had a record of 6-2 in singles this season as well as a record of 6-2 in doubles this season, which allowed her to place in the Second Team All-CCIW.

For Huebel, the transition from playing in a club to a competitive collegiate sport was a change. She said that the main difference is the emphasis on team results in college tennis, as opposed to individual performance in club tennis. 

“In the club, you’re just looking at yourself, at your scores,” Huebel said. “And now that I’m part of a college team, it’s not just about if I’m winning or losing, it’s more about the success or the results of the entire team.” 

Despite her transition into a more competitive team environment, Huebel was still able to succeed due to her team’s focus on team bonding and friendship, especially with the incoming First-Years.

“We brought in a bunch of new freshmen, so that was exciting, we all get along well. I feel like we all work together really well,” Hanulikova said. “I feel like that showed in our results. We’re very good this year. I would say I think we have a lot of improvements we can make, but there’s lots of room for improvement, but I think it was a great highlight.” 

This season, the women’s tennis team showed significant changes and improved a lot. The team’s overall success in the conference, where they overcame teams they had previously struggled with, highlights their collective growth.

“Wheaton is an example this year. We were fairly close to them in our score, but last year, they beat us pretty badly. So, just like our improvement, we improved a lot this year,” Colbert said. 

The Augustana women’s tennis team’s future looks bright as the current season closes and the team moves indoors for winter practice. As they prepare for future tournaments, their determination and camaraderie promise even more remarkable performances and accolades.

 “As a team, our goal is to keep bonding and keep going to the gym working together, hopefully, to reach the top of the conference,” Hanulikova said.

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