Women’s tennis prepares for spring season

Media Credit: File Photo by Alexander Welling | Assistant Photo Editor

The team will be looking to improve upon its performance last year, when it lost in the championship’s semifinals.

Women’s tennis is set to start the spring season after a two-month break following their fall schedule.

After last year’s fall slate was canceled and no players were able to return to campus to train, the squad has been able to capitalize on the fall this year and get valuable reps ahead of the main spring slate. The team is hopeful to keep the current conditions of the pandemic under control to finalize their conference play this season.

“What I am most excited about this season is to be able to compete as a team,” senior Alexandra Vesikallio said. “The fall is mostly individual so it will be fun to be able to compete for each other.”

The Colonials kicked off their fall slate with the Bedford Cup in which senior Katarina Marinkovikj earned a first-place finish in Flight D of singles play while sophomore Stella Wiesemann was a runner-up in Flight A.

Marinkovikj and Wiesemann also advanced to the doubles semifinals at the Intercollegiate Associate Division I Atlantic Women’s Regional Championship in early October and earned a bid to the ITA Super Regionals but ultimately fell to Virginia’s Sofia Munera and Natasha Subnash.

The team returned with seven players from last season while adding freshman Alejandra Ramirez. Both Marinkovikj and junior Lara McNaughten returned to the court after missing the last spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colonials are looking to win the Atlantic 10 Championship after being knocked out during last year’s semifinal appearance, following a 4-0 defeat against VCU. Prior to the defeat, GW had taken down La Salle and Fordham in shutout victories en route to the semifinals.

Wiesemann finished last spring season with a 9-4 singles record and a 7-5 doubles record to hold the No. 1 spot in the conference in both positions. She was also named the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer and selected to the All-Conference First Team.

GW capped this year’s fall season at the Seahawk Ocean Classic hosted by North Carolina Wilmington where junior Sarah Bodewes and freshman Alejandra Ramirez, as well as senior Alexandra Vesikallio and Wiesemann, picked up doubles victories. Wiesemann also took home a win in singles play before being defeated by Appalachian State’s Ksenia Aleshina in two sets 7-5, 7-6.

“A major takeaway from this past fall season was that seeing how everyone competed and improved throughout the fall season,” Vesikallio said. “We will have a really strong team this spring.”

Vesikallio said the team has been working on “positive body language and attitude” for the spring season.

But as the Colonials are set to hit the court on Jan. 28, the current spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant leaves the matches to be held without ticketed fans.

“Hopefully the spike of COVID-19 will not impact this season,” Vesikallio said. “As of right now everything is to stay the same and hopefully nothing will change and COVID-19 stays under control.”

The Colonials are set to return Jan. 28 where they will host Delaware at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center. First serve is set for 12 p.m.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.