Women's Tennis Closes Play in Midwest Invite with a Win over UW-Whitewater

by Eva Dean Folkert

After suffering two close losses on Friday to nationally-ranked squads at the Midwest Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, the 30th-ranked Hope College women bounced back on Saturday to soundly defeat non-league opponent, No. 33 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, by a score of 7-2.

The Flying Dutch improved to 9-5 overall.

The match atypically started with singles play and Hope took five of those six matches.

At No. 2 singles, junior Amanda Bandrowski of Traverse City (St. Francis HS) defeated Julie Martin in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.

At. No. 3 singles, freshman Sydney Jackson of Fort Wayne, Ind. (Carroll HS) outdueled Paige Nierman by set scores of 6-4, 6-2.

At. No. 4 singles, senior Taylor LaBarge of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) outlasted Sabrina Palavra in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9.

At No. 5 singles, sophomore Bailey Chorney of Waunakee, Wisc. (Waunakee HS) beat Elsie Ha, 6-3, 6-2.

At No. 6 singles, junior Liz Pniewski of Lowell (GR Catholic Central HS) took a three-set win over Jessica Minkov, 7-5, 6-7, 12-10.

Junior Claire Hallock of Lakeland, Fla. (Harrison Center HS) was defeated by Gabi Kitchell at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-2.

A pair of doubles wins at the second and third flights gave Hope the rest of its points over UW-Whitewater. Taylor LaBarge and Jackson teamed up to defeated Palavra and Olivia Kraft, 8-3, at No. 2 doubles. At No 3 doubles, senior Erin LaBarge of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) and Chorney topped Nierman and Molly Rueth, 8-5.

At No. 1 doubles, Bandrowski and Hallock lost to Kitchell and Martin, 8-3. 

About his team's weekend play, head coach Bobby Cawood said, "The way we competed against WashU (on Friday), I was extremely proud of them. The match against Gustavus (on Friday) was a tough one. But to get a win in the last match the way we did today was amazing. I'm so proud of the women."

The Flying Dutch return to league play on Wednesday, April 8 when they travel to Saint Mary's College for a 4 p.m. match.