FORT WAYNE – It occasionally is a subject of debate among the IPFW women’s tennis coaches: Which team would beat the other – this year’s group of Mastodons, or the 27-4 team two years ago that was led by four-time Summit League Player of the Year Amy Recht?
We think it would be a really good match, IPFW coach Eric Burns said. We think it could be like a 4-3-type match if you played this team against the team of Amy’s senior year. We think maybe there’s a little more depth at the bottom (this year), but with that being said, we had some pretty gritty players down there before.
Before comparisons are fully made of the great past teams, the 2013 group of Mastodons will first have to deal with the present, which begins today with the Summit League men’s and women’s championships at IPFW. Inclement weather would chase the tournament to the indoor courts at Pine Ridge Racquet Club, 12124 Lima Road.
Top-seeded IPFW (21-7), which won the Summit League regular season title, will face No. 4 seed South Dakota (14-10) at noon today in the first women’s semifinal. Second-seeded Missouri-Kansas City (10-13) will play No. 3 South Dakota State (15-9) at 6 p.m.
In today’s men’s semifinals, fourth-seeded IPFW (9-16) will face No. 1 seed UMKC (11-10) at 9 a.m. At 3 p.m., No. 2 seed South Dakota State (11-10) will play No. 3 IUPUI (5-18).
The men’s finals will be played at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by the 1 p.m. women’s finals.
Just as his past championship teams had the one, dominant player in Recht, Burns said this year’s team has a force at No. 1 singles in senior Anita Henestrosa, who is 21-6 overall and 21-5 in No. 1 matches.
The team’s other senior, Caterina Kiefer, is 18-4, and sophomore Marcy Huck is 18-7. From there, Burns says, balance is the definitive word.
After losing seven of their first 13 matches against non-Summit League opponents, the Mastodons have hit their stride, as they bring a 15-match winning streak into the tournament.
Going forward, we definitely wanted to keep the momentum going, Burns said. We didn’t want to stop at where we were at. Our goals are much higher than winning Summit League championships. We’d like to get our team nationally ranked. There is a list of other things we’d like to accomplish.
Just as the women’s team is being compared with its own history, the men’s team is beginning to make its own, as this marks the second consecutive year of playing in the postseason tournament.
We’re a very young team – predominantly freshmen and sophomores, said Brett Barnett, Burns’ assistant who primarily coaches the men.
My No. 1 (singles), Daniel (Kang), is the only junior on the team that plays. It’s been an uphill learning curve, and we’ve experienced some growth pains. But as the year went on, we’ve played better and better. The guys got some experience in the lineup, and we’ve turned it around. We’ve played out best tennis lately, which is what we wanted.
Tech golfers third
The Indiana Tech men’s golf team finished in third place at the WHAC championships at Stonewater Country Club.
The Warriors shot a three-round total of 901 – 30 shots behind winning Davenport.