Grinnell College women’s tennis players captured four singles titles at the Midwest Conference Championships Sunday in Madison, Wis.
Winning crowns were Constanza Alarcon ’13 at the second flight, Shirlene Luk ’15 at No. 3, Hanna Feldman ’14 at No. 5 and Toby Cain ’12 at No. 6. Alarcon has now claimed six individual MWC crowns in her career, winning doubles and singles titles in 2011, 2010 and 2009, while Feldman, Luk and Cain all have won two crowns.
Alarcon opened her day with victories over players from Monmouth College and Lake Forest College before defeating St. Norbert College’s Nancy Chybowski 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 in the title match.
“Constanza is a fighter,” said Grinnell coach Andy Hamilton. “She came back from losing the first set in the finals against a very worthy opponent from St. Norbert and fought to win the second set 6-2. After being down 0-3 in the third set, she won six games in a row for her third straight conference singles title. I’m excited about her path to a possible fourth title next season.”
Luk beat foes from Carroll University and St. Norbert and finished off the title by stopping Knox College’s Charlotte Garvin 7-5, 3-6, 6-5 in the championship match.
“Shirlene has incredible drive to succeed, and when the chips are down and the going gets tough, she relies on her great defensive flair to make plays,” said Hamilton. “Her three-set victory against a very steady player from Knox was a nice exhibition of how her fall season went.”
Feldman beat women from Beloit College and Ripon College before earning a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Hannah Geoffrey of Lawrence University for the crown.
“Hanna responded to being tested more in her finals match than ever before this fall,” said Hamilton. “She did a great job of making adjustments after her first-set loss, and in the end used those tactics to prevail against a player from Lawrence who really raised her level today. Hanna continues to be a very strong player in our lineup and I look forward to a great spring from her.”
Cain defeated players from Knox and St. Norbert before winning the title with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Kate Wiseman of Carroll.
“Toby won her second title of the weekend, and played with great poise and grace the whole time,” said Hamilton. “Many Midwest Conference coaches praised her for her four years, and I say hat’s off to my senior captain.”
At No. 1 singles, Sadhana Athreya ’14 beat Josie Ullsperger of Ripon 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 before falling to eventual champion Elizabeth Larson of Lawrence in the semifinals.
“I’m really proud of Sadhana’s comeback in the second set versus the Ripon opponent,” said Hamilton. “She was down 4-1 and won, and then got the third set. She showed great heart in doing this, but unfortunately ran into the eventual champion in the semifinals. Sadhana had a great fall for us, though.”
Clothilde Thirouin ’14 posted wins over Kortney Rupp of Monmouth 6-0, 6-0 and Ariel Bloniarz of St. Norbert 6-0, 6-4 at No. 4 before falling to Christina Schaupp of Lawrence for the title.
“Clo had a nice day of tennis, especially considering a week ago she was very ill,” said Hamilton. “In the end she probably played one of the toughest players in the Midwest Conference in her position. She kept great poise and really struck the ball well in the finals, but her opponent was very strong.”