Sports & Outdoors

Women’s tennis gets off to strong start

The Logger women’s tennis team started off 2013 with a bang in a couple of rousing victories on the road in their first two matches of the new year, as they dealt with both Pacific and George Fox to get off to a 2-0 start in Northwest Conference play.

Coming off of an up-and-down season in 2012 in which they finished with a meager 8-9 record overall but ended the season on a tear, winning six of their final seven matches, the Loggers were eager to pick up right where they left off last season. And with a young team with six returning players, they appear to be poised to do just that.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the Loggers traveled to Forest Grove, Oregon to take on Pacific University. The Loggers set the tone early in the singles competition, claiming five of the six individual sets.

Sophomore Josie Dow (Seattle, Wash.); juniors Marissa Friedman (Novato, Calif.), Jenna Gerdsen (Kamuela, Hawaii) and Logan Thompson (Decorah, Idaho); and senior Maddie Thiesse (Chanhassen, Minn.) each won their sets decisively.

Thompson in particular stood out, as she won her set without conceding a single game, winning 6-0, 6-0 over Pacific’s Amber Craviotto.

The Loggers looked solid in the doubles portion of the competition as well, winning two of their three matches there.

Thompson and Friedman handled their Pacific opponents by a score of 8-4, and freshman Malia Ford (Makawao, Hawaii) and sophomore Allison Embernate (Kihei, Hawaii) put an exclamation point on the Loggers’ victory with a rousing 8-0 victory in the decisive doubles match.  It all added up to a 7-2 victory for the Loggers over their NWC foe.

The Loggers’ weekend road trip continued as they travelled to George Fox to battle the Bruins on Saturday, Feb. 16. Almost from the beginning, the Loggers were beset by problems entirely outside of their control, in the form of rain and a loss of lighting.

This time around, the doubles matches went against the Loggers, as the team was only able to win one of their three matches. Embernate and Ford shone once more to take the Loggers’ only match 8-2.

Fortunately, the Loggers dominated in the singles competition for the second straight day, again winning five of their six matches. Thiesse, Gerdsen, Thompson, Friedman and Embernate each won their match to give the Loggers the overall edge over George Fox.

While the matches were more competitive this time around, with three of the five matches going to a tiebreaker, overall it was enough for the Loggers to escape with a 6-3 win over George Fox.

Co-star Gerdsen was optimistic after the match, saying, “We faced some adversity, with the lights going out near the end. But we have a good team. We should have gone to the playoffs last year, and hopefully this year we’ll be even better.”

Though it was just the first two matches of what will be a long season, the Loggers appear to be off to a good start toward soaring to new and greater heights in 2013.