Tennis approaches end of season with win


Nicole Girgen

Senior Rachel Gantz hits the ball back towards Upper Iowa on Saturday, March 17 at the Winona Tennis Center. The Warriors played against the University of Mary and Minnesota State University Moorhead this weekend, winning both games 7-2 and 6-3.

Sydney Mohr, Features Editor

Winona State University tennis took to the courts at the Winona Tennis Center in Winona on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8.

The Warriors overtook with a 7-2 win against University of Mary on Saturday. They were able to take two of the three doubles matches, and five of the six singles.

Sophomore Kendra Kappes and senior Rachel Gantz were the first duo to finish at double no.2 with an 8-2 victory. Sophomore Tayla Card and senior Kali Hackmann improved to 9-1 as a team at doubles no. 3, with an 8-2 triumph over the Marauders. The no. 1 duo of doubles for Winona State sophomore Kaisey Skibba and senior Justine Daane lost their match 9-7 after a tough battle.

In singles, Card (no. 6) and Hackmann (no. 5) each earned 6-1 victories against the Marauders, lifting their respective season records to 13-1.

Gantz won 6-2 in her singles and Daane earned a 7-5, 6-0 win through her matches. Kappes sealed off the win for the Warriors with her 6-1, 6-2 victory on the court.

Riding off of the high of their Saturday wins, the Warriors took the court with extra energy on Sunday, April 8 against University of Moorhead Minnesota. It was also a bittersweet day, as this was the last home meet for the Warriors and the day they honored their seniors.

Seniors Justine Daane, Rachel Gantz, Kali Hackmann and Lauren Willkom were all each honored prior to the match by head coach Heather Reilly. They were all given a short speech about their time with Winona State tennis and were presented with a bouquet of flowers as a thank you for their dedication and hard work.

“It’ll be hard to see these girls go. They’re all very talented athletes and bring a certain motivation to the younger athletes of the team,” Reilly said. “We’ll be losing some of our best players, but I know that our underclassmen will be able to live up to their standards. They’ve already proved that this season.”

Three of the four seniors honored prior to the match played during the day. At no. 1, Daane and Skibba scored a 9-7 win, and the duo of Hackmann and Card were 8-3 winners at no. 3.

Daane was first to finish at singles with a 6-3, 6-4 win. Kappes scored her first victory of the day with a 6-2 win at singles, and Hackmann and Gantz wrapped up the performance of Senior Day with wins in each respective singles match to seal the victory for the Warriors.

“It was such a rush. It feels surreal, this is my last home meet of my college career,” Gantz said after her match. “It’s great my family was here and I was able to take out a few wins to end my athletic career with Winona State. I really am going to miss this and all my teammates.”

The Warriors conclude the regular season with a non-conference match at Luther College scheduled for next Friday, April 13 before the NSIC Tournament begins on April 21.