Lady Eagles tennis returns home from New York

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The IVCC Lady Eagles women’s tennis team returned from the U.S. Open courts in Rolling Meadows, New York after playing in the NJCAA Division III National Tournament. After finishing their regular season with an overall record of 7-1, the team went into the tournament with confidence.

The team finished day one of the three day tournament tied for third place with FIT Junior College. They would remain in third place after day two, and go into the final day with seven matches to play. The team would win four of those seven matches and finish in third. Coach Julie Milota added, “We were definitely in the hunt all three days and very close to a second place finish.”

When asked to comment on the season Coach Milota offered these remarks: “This has been such a great season for the Lady Eagles. What many do not understand about tennis is it is both individual and team effort. Both have to work together to win a national tournament. You also are playing two different types of tennis matches: singles and doubles. They both have different strategy and are almost completely different from one another. In practice we talk about the importance of the shots we choose to make and the consistency of those shots. In some cases we are still learning how to place spin, power and depth. Like in any classroom you’re learning the information and trying to apply it….quickly. Not only does a point move extremely quickly but so does our season with only 30 days to be match ready.”

The Lady Eagle’s individual results from the tournament were also exceptional. Kayla Guenther #1 ended her last year winning first place in consolation which would make her one of the top players in the nation of JUCO (Junior College) Division III tennis players.

Ashley Ainsley #2 singles was also in her finals of consolation and received second. Katie Wellner was the only singles player to break to her Finals in the Main Draw and received 2nd team All American by the NJCAA.
#4 singles Bianca Sutton also pulled out a great win in her consolation finals. The team’s #5 Tara Ketner and #6 Carly Haywood did not advance to the finals but each added significant points to the team earning 3 points each before they retired after their semi- finals match in the main draw.

Two of the Lady Eagles’ players were also nominated for special awards. Kaylee Sienza was nominated for Player of The Year due to her high GPA and community/school activities and tennis success. She was 1 of 10 players which were nominated and met those criteria.

Carly Haywood was nominated for the Scholar Athlete Award. The Eagles were the only team that had players nominated with a 4.0 GPA. Coach Milota spoke highly of her players saying, “Great testament to our program and players. Very proud of all these girls with their academic success as well.”

Milota summed up the season by adding “Our tournament strategy was to get everyone through the first round. Six of our nine entries accomplished this goal. This was our maiden voyage to Division III tennis and I would say we did an incredible job.”

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