Category Archives: Tennis

Tennis prepares for conference tournament following its second place finish in UMAC

by Tiffany Stubbs

The UNW men and women’s tennis teams are entering into crunch time as the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) tournament is right around the corner and will take place May 6th.

The women’s team was selected to share the 2016 UMAC regular season title with the College of St. Scholastica in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll. UNW hoped to look to build on last year’s success, as the Eagles turned in a record-setting season, in which they took home the UMAC regular season and tournament titles. With UNW’s 18 victories in 2015, the Eagles qualified for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) tournament. The Eagles brought back a lot of experience this year and hoped that would lead them to another successful season—and it has.

Freshman Jessica Henke has lost just two matches this season in UMAC play, racking up an 8-2 record on the year (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

Freshman Jessica Henke has lost just two matches this season in UMAC play, racking up an 8-2 record on the year (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

Within conference they are 7-1, and they have already achieved multiple awards. Karen Moe, Rachel Bostrom and Madeline Scanlan have earned UMAC Player of the Week awards. Moe also earned the NCCAA Student-Athlete of the Week Award. Coach Matt Swigart achieved his 100th win at Northwestern on April 9.

Moe said, “Coach Swigart is the best. He is a man of God, first and foremost. He cares about us as followers of Jesus before he cares about us as tennis players, yet he is still a competitor and pushes us to play to the best of our abilities and beyond. We are very blessed as a team to have him.”

This year the team has experienced a lot of growth. Moe said, “We have faced various forms of adversity as a team this season, but it has been awesome seeing specific players overcome those obstacles and seeing how we have grown as a team because of them. We are looking forward to applying that growth on the court as we head into the Conference Tournament next weekend.”

The women’s biggest competition is St. Scholastica as well. Moe said, “They beat us at the beginning of the season, so we are excited to have another chance to play them on Saturday and hopefully next weekend in the tournament.”

The men’s team is currently 11-13 overall and 7-1 in conference play. They have also achieved many UMAC Player of the Week awards by CJ Lloyd, Derek Williams, Landon Ridpath and Cameron Fair. Lloyd also received the NCCAA D1 Student-Athlete of the Week Award. The team was selected as the preseason favorite in the UMAC after having a successful season last year (a conference record of 7-3) with three freshman: Josh Kimball, CJ Lloyd and Brett Jacobus being named to the UMAC All-Conference team after taking second place in the league’s postseason tournament.

Kimball said, “We have a deep line-up this year and have a team that is playing good tennis top to bottom. This year we are a more competitive team, and we have a young team that has a lot of potential to grow over the next two years together. St. Scholastica will be our hardest competition coming up, but we are taking it one match at a time to prepare for the conference tournament.”

Behind the jersey: tennis player Brett Jacobus

Jacobus is one of four returning players from last season. He is currently undefeated through the first two matches of the season (photo courtesy of Russ and Kathy Nelson).

by Daniel Appel
Sports Editor

headshot_2_Jacobus_BrettYear: Sophomore
Major: Biochemistry
Hometown: Lakeville, Minnesota

Q: If you were forced to become one member of the Fellowship of the Ring from “The Lord of the Rings,” who would you be and why?
A: I don’t think you would have to force anyone to become a member of the Fellowship because they’re awesome. But I choose to be Frodo because we’re both short and kind of a big deal.

Q: Would you be willing to eat a bowl of live crickets for a year of free school?
A: I would be willing to do that, because that’s only like 30 crickets for 40 grand, but I would have to be allowed to douse them in Nutella.

Q: What did you want to be growing up, and what do you want to be now?
A: I wanted to be a pro tennis player, but I only made it as far as division three, so we know how that worked out. Either that, or I wanted to be a paleontologist. Now I want to become a physical therapist.

Q: Why is tennis the greatest sport of all time?
A: Tennis is the greatest sport for a number of reasons, but I’d say the main reason is because if you hit the person with the ball, you win that point.

Q: Your choice: hitting the whip or the dab?
A: Dab all day.

Q: What are the top three places you like to visit in Minnesota?
A: I would want to go to [Quarry Park] to cliff jump or to the State Fair because they have good food there. Those, or I would go to the airport to leave for somewhere warm.

Jacobus is one of four returning players from last season. He is currently undefeated through the first two matches of the season (photo courtesy of Russ and Kathy Nelson).

Jacobus is one of four returning players from last season. He is currently undefeated through the first two matches of the season (photo courtesy of Russ and Kathy Nelson).

UNW Tennis Update 2015

By Mateusz Gralinski

Even though the snow has just melted, the University of Northwestern – St. Paul men’s and women’s tennis teams have been hard at work for the past few weeks. The two teams started their 2015 season indoors at the beginning of February. Head coach Matt Swigart talked about this year’s expectations saying, “It is a long season and each day is a step in the journey. Steps are being taken, improvement is evident and we continue to be excited for what we can accomplish this season.”

The two teams fought hard in their first matches. The men took on Hamline University at Lifetime Fitness in White Bear Lake as the women battled St. Catherine University at Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, both teams ended up losing with close scores of 2-7 and 4-5.

The Eagles bounced back in their second match as the men defeated North Central University 6-3 and the women triumphed over the University of Minnesota – Duluth 8-1. Senior Megan Johnson said, “Our team had our best pre-conference season probably ever and the whole team gets along better than any other group I’ve ever been a part of,” regarding the first few matches of the season.

During spring break, the teams took a trip to Florida and played a few exhibition matches to prepare for conference play. The men only had one win but still walked away with some good experiences against very skilled teams. Meanwhile the women won two out of their five games, beating Seton Hill University from Greensborough, Pennsylvania and Daemen College from Amherst, New York. “We played really good competition and we matched up against them pretty well,” said Johnson looking back on the team’s trip.

Freshmen C.J. Lloyd also commented on the competition saying, “Although we lost most of our matches, it was good for us to play against teams of such a high caliber because it shows us what we have to do to reach that level of play.”

After coming back from their trip the UNW tennis teams are eager to get outside on the brand new courts and continue their play. “We have some really big matches coming up and they are really going to test us as a team, but I am excited to see how we handle these teams now that we have seen what it takes,” said Lloyd concerning the upcoming matches and the rest of the season.

Coach Swigert is also excited for what is to come saying, “I’m blessed to be able to coach such a great group of young men and women. This team truly loves one another, loves the game of tennis and working to improve.”

Sports complex sparks excitement

New Stadium

“These facilities will host student athletes, intramurals, physical education classes, and
the general public,” said Matt Hill, vice president for Student Life and Athletics.

by Megan Whiting

The University of Northwestern – St. Paul welcomes a new and improved sports complex to the campus this fall. Athletes and fans alike are pumped and ready to use the high quality athletic facilities.

“The complex provides three multi-purpose turf fields with lights (softball, baseball, football/soccer/lacrosse) and six tennis courts. Included in the new facility are bathrooms, concessions stands and four locker rooms. These facilities will host student athletes, intramurals, physical education classes and the general public,” said Matt Hill, vice president for Student Life and Athletics.

Read more ...

Tennis teams improving conference records

by Jesse Donahue

After coming back from their spring break trip to Florida, the UNW women’s and men’s tennis teams have much to look forward to in the coming weeks. Both squads plan to continue conference play on Saturday, April 12.

The tennis teams are focused on improving as the season goes on (photo by Kelsey Brush).

The tennis teams are focused on improving as the season goes on (photo by Kelsey Brush).

Coming off a season in which they finished 12-9, the women’s team will dive into conference play after posting an 8-4 overall record 12 games into the season.
After losing four players from last year’s team, first year player Karen Moe has found herself being a steady contributor so far this season.

Moe posted a record of 7-3 in her last 10 matches while also earning UMAC player of the week.

Moe said, “The biggest transition between high school and college tennis has been not knowing my opponents beforehand. It’s fun going out on the court as a freshman and not knowing what to expect from anyone.”

Although Moe has seen her fair share of success this season, she knows there is still work to be done to perfect her game.

Moe said, “Right now, I’m focusing on maintaining a consistent serve as well as utilizing the length of the court. I tend to get caught up in long baseline rallies, so moving my opponent up and down the court with more angles and drop shots will be key.”

The Eagles also experienced a first in program history this past weekend when they defeated St. Scholastica. It took the Eagles 35 matches spread over 16 years to get a win against the Saints.

Junior Megan Johnson has also seen plenty of success this year, coming off performances that earned herself UMAC player of the week.

Johnson recently has posted a record of 6-4 overall during her past 10 contests in singles play while also being a key contributor in doubles matches when paired up with fellow junior Kelly Johnson.

The UNW men’s team has seen quite a bit of adversity to start the season. After battling back and forth countless times with quality opponents, the team finds itself with an overall record of 4-10. The Eagles have won three in a row against North Central University, University of Minnesota Morris and Bethany Lutheran College.

After losing two of its top players from last year’s team, this squad remains optimistic it can place itself among the top in the conference to compete for the championship come season’s end.

Junior Levi Busse said, “The record may show we are off to a slow start; we are positioning ourselves where we need to be in order to accomplish our goals. I have the upmost confidence that our record at the end of the year will be a much better representation of how good this team is.”

Although Busse believes this team is capable of taking the necessary steps toward reaching its goal of a conference championship, he knows it won’t come without improvements.
“The main improvement I am making in my game is building stronger consistency with my ground strokes and building a high rally tolerance. This will help me be more competitive against tougher teams like St. Scholastica,” Busse said.

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