The Albion College Women’s Tennis Team was one win away from an undefeated MIAA season. But after falling to Hope College last Wednesday, the team is ready to seek revenge in the MIAA Tournament.
The Britons lost to Hope 6-3 in their last match of MIAA conference play. After Hope defeated Calvin College on Tuesday, the best the Britons can hope for is a tie for first place in the conference. While the Britons are awaiting the results of Saturday’s contest between Hope and St. Mary’s College, Marssa Cloutier, Grosse Ile sophomore, made one thing clear:
“Its all about what happens in the tournament.”
The match had positives for the Britons. Cloutier won her singles match, 6-0, 6-1, and the doubles team of Katie Blumberg, Farmington Hills sophomore, and Sarah Towler, Milan senior, took Albion’s only doubles victory of the day.
Perhaps the most impressive victory came from Blumberg in singles play, not because of the 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 score, but because it completed a season sweep of MIAA competition in singles play. Blumberg has only lost four times all season, all to non-conference opponents.
Head Coach Brandon Still knows his team is capable of beating Hope.
“We put all of our effort into it but they were a little bit more desperate for a win than we were,” Still said. “If we want to take it to them at the MIAA’s we’re going to have to find that desperation.”
Cloutier said she looks forward to the challenge of preparing for the MIAA tournament, and taking another shot at Hope.
“We know how they play now, and what we need to work on to beat them, so we’ll be working hard the next couple of weeks,” Cloutier said.
One challenge the Britons will face during the off-week between is keeping focused while the players are focused on this critical academic period. Coach Still has shortened practices, and the team will have the end of next week to prepare once finals are over.
“We might not practice as much, so we need to be more efficient.” Cloutier said. “Even though we’re not hitting as much, we’re hitting extra hard when we do.”
The team may be looking for a rematch with Hope, but Still doesn’t want the team to lose sight of the fact that there is a match before that.
“No matter who we’re playing, we’re just looking at bringing our best game and doing what we need to improve,” Still said.
No matter what, the MIAA Tournament will challenge the team more than they’ve been challenged all season.
“In the semi’s we’ll play a team that knows they were close to us, and if we can get past them and if Hope gets to the Finals we’re going to play a team that beat us,” Still said.
Cloutier put it more simply,“All we’re really focusing on right now is beating Hope.”
Photo Courtesy of Albion College Sports Information