Women’s tennis makes history, end 30-year streak


Jaclyn Millin

Sun Mo Koo, ‘16, waits for a volley while partner, Sloane Prince ’16, makes a return during the women’s tennis match against Westminster Wednesday evening. The team won 9-0, making it three wins in a row.

The women’s tennis team beat Kenyon College pulling out a historic 5-4 win. The last time the Gators won against the Ladies was the 1984-85 season.

“It was a very big deal and is close to our hearts. It has been one of our team goals since September,” Mikaela Pope, ’16, said.
Pope went 2-0 in her match against Kenyon.

“I was so happy for our women, this is something we have wanted for a long time,” Head Coach Jared Luteran said.

Pope said the atmosphere during the match was great and having everyone cheering each other on was motivation to push harder.

“Having that win is definitely a confidence booster. We are good players and can use the confidence and aggressiveness in our conference matches this week,” Pope said.

The night before, the men’s and women’s teams faced Denison University.

“Facing two nationally ranked opponents and the best teams all year was a challenge,” Thomas Manning, ’16, said.

Manning was the men’s team only win against Denison, going 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 10-8 then fell to Kenyon at second-flight singles, 7-5, 6-4.

“The teams we faced are historically good and we were excited to play the best teams. We believe in ourselves and went in with confidence,” Pope said.

In the week leading up to the games, the men and women were motivated in practice and working to prepare for the busy weekend.

“Attitude starts in practice, we were more motivated in practice going into the weekend,” Manning said. “As a team we like to joke around a lot, but our warm ups and huddle are more serious with tougher teams.”

Manning said Kenyon and Denison are teams the Gators are likely to play at conferences where it really matters and using this weekend’s experiences, they know how to better play against them.

“We are strong in doubles and can hang in with tougher teams. Singles is where we win or lose, and we want to win the tougher ones,” Manning said.

Luteran said the team is working on consistency and being able to out grind opponents.

Both teams will travel to The College of Wooster on Friday, April 17, then Oberlin College on Saturday, April 18.