The Warriors drop the ball against Minnesota State Mankato


Mercedes Johnson

First-year Miranda Daulong serving a ball to her opponent. The woman’s tennis team fell to Minnesota State University – Mankato with a score of 7 – 0 in their first NSIC match of the season.

Pronob Kumar, Sports Reporter

Winona State University tennis was defeated by Minnesota State University – Mankato with a score of 7 – 0 in their first NSIC match of the season. It was a home match for Winona State which was played at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2023.

Winona State tasted defeat in their six singles level matches where three of them were in tiebreakers. Match No. 5, No. 6 and No. 4 were the closest ones as they went to tiebreakers. And with the lack of confidence, Winona State lost every single one of them.

Miranda Daulong, Clara Thoemke and Ally Burger were the three players playing from the Warrior side in those three tiebreaker matches against Avery Stilwell, Daria Podmogilaia and McKenna DeMarce from Minnesota State Mankato respectively.

The closest match among the tiebreakers was against Ally and Mckenna, which was the last match of singles as well. In that match, they had two tiebreaks, respectively in the first and the third set.

Winona State coach Tom Sanvik was expecting wins in the doubles to take an early lead as he said, “We are hoping our doubles teams led by Beth Murman and Sara Anderson at No. 1 and Rachel Kelly and Ally Burger at No. 2 double will get us off to a quick start. Mankato doubles are currently both in the top 50 in the NCAA Division II current polls.”

After having good rankings, three of the doubles teams fell short of scoring a win. In the first and third match, they only scored half a point less than the opposition.

In the second doubles match, Burger and Kelly of Winona State tried to turn the match to their side but Freia Lawrence and Chiara Carnelutti of Minnesota State Mankato stopped them at a score of 7 – 5.

The Warrior coach Sanvik was also confident about the singles matches. He said, “Beth Murman, Rachel Kelly, and Sara Anderson give us a strong veteran singles line up and our greatly improving young players led by Miranda Daulong, Clara Thoemke, Ally Burger and Maddie Moe will help us battle for a couple of victories this weekend.”

None of the above players could do anything in this match and gave a preview of their last match where they also lost 7 – 0 against Michigan Technological University. This demonstrates a lack of confidence in their play which has led to defeat by large margins.

In addition to the weekend matches, the team also celebrated its seniors who will be graduating. These include Beth Murman and Rachel Kelly. (Mercedes Johnson)

Next week Winona State is going to face St. Cloud State University on Friday, March 24, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. They will also face the University of Minnesota – Duluth on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at noon. Both of these matches will be Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) matches. Both of these games will also be away games for the Warriors.

Winona State has had a good record against these teams with wins against both schools. Against St. Cloud State, the Warriors have played 18 matches and won 12 of them. This number is even greater against the University of Minnesota – Duluth where they won 12 of their 14 matches. It is not a done deal though, if the Warriors lack confidence, they might end up going 7 – 0 again.

There is more to look at this week as the two table-toppers of NSIC, Augustana University and the University of Mary, are facing each other at the University of Mary on Monday, March 20, 2023, at 9 a.m.