The Augustana women’s tennis team (6-1, NSIC 5-0) had a clean 7-0 sweep against Minnesota State University (1-5, NSIC 1-5) followed by a 6-3 triumph over the University of Sioux Falls (3-3, NSIC 3-2) on Feb. 28. The day was originally planned for Southwest Minnesota State, but it was postponed due to weather. Augustana was then able to play USF which was postponed from the previous week. The team also celebrated its seniors with Senior Day for Grace Goble and Rebecca Falkner.
“We have a very strong team this year, and we have tremendous depth,” Head Coach Marc Kurtz said. “I feel like this team has a great shot at postseason play, but we have a long way to go and we need to keep working hard and improving each week so we are playing at our best by the end of the season.”
The team is making a comeback from the previous 13-0 season that ended early due to COVID-19. The Vikings hope that they can make it to nationals this year.
“This year is going to be awesome, and I really hope that we make it to nationals this year,” sophomore
Aleksandra Kistanova said. “I think we are ready.”
Augustana swept the court against MSU 7-0. No. 1 doubles freshmen Valeriya Monko and Florentia Hadjigeorgiou won 6-0. Junior Laura Arce Vieyra and Goble won their No. 2 set 6-1. Kistanova and Emily Granson won No. 3 6-1. Hadjigeorgiou and Kistanova both played singles as well and won both of their sets 6-0.
“We always cheer each other on,” Arce Vieyra said. “It helps to pick each other up if we are falling behind and mostly for encouragement.”
For their second match against USF, Monko’s and Hadjigeorgiou’s opponents put up more of a challenge but the two were able to overcome and win their set 6-3. Arce Vieyra and Goble also won their set 6-1, while Kistanova and Granson cleared the court with a set of 6-0.
“We have a great team this year, having a nice atmosphere and get along very well,” Kistanova said. “Now our team is mostly international which brings us together more.”
The Augustana tennis team has six international players out of eight.
“We have players from all over the world.” Kurtz said. “I have three traits that I look for in a recruit. One, will they be a good teammate? Two, are they going to be able to succeed academically at Augie? Three, are they at the level of tennis that I need them to be at?”
Hadjigeorgiou said she appreciates having international teammates.
“That really helped me because you have someone in your shoes and everyone can understand each other,” Hadjigeorgiou said.
Hadjigeorgiu and Monko hold an undefeated doubles streak, winning with sets ranging from 6-0 to 6-3.
“We try to eliminate our errors and be as constant as possible,” Hadjigeorgiou said of her and Monko’s partnership. “We always try to remain patient in our matches and stay in communication with each other.”
The Vikings also celebrated their seniors Goble and Falkner on Sunday.
“Senior Day was a really special experience,” Goble said. “The team honored Rebecca and I in a very special way that brought tears to my eyes. I feel very confident with my last season because we have a very strong team that I think has the chance to go far in the conference.”
On Sunday, March 7, the women’s tennis team will play against Nebraska-Kearney at 9 a.m. at GreatLIFE Woodlake.
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