Tigers place fifth at Division III ITA nationals

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The underclassmen on the women’s tennis team stepped up this past weekend in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Div. III Women’s Team Indoor Championship. On Friday, Johns Hopkins defeated DePauw, 6-3. Saturday the wind changed and the DePauw Tigers beat Wisconsin-Whitewater and Washington Lee, both 8-1. Playing against the top eight teams in the nation, the Tigers finished fifth.
The work the team did in the off-season helped the success of the team as a whole in their first tournament of the spring season, sophomore Claire Marshall said.
“We worked in the weight room a lot because we had so many small injuries and our coach wanted us to strengthen every part of our game,” Marshall said. “We have one of the toughest schedules this year and there will be no easy matches.”
Captains, junior Meg Crowley and senior Elizabeth Young, set a high standard for the rest of the team.
Sophomore Julie Wittwer said, the younger girls look up to the captains’ work ethic and follow their example during practices and games.
“Being a sophomore, I’m still learning from the older girls and our only senior sets a good example for us,” Wittwer said. “My goal is to be a good leader like Elizabeth. Our team has a good dynamic, but I would like to keep building up the team and encouraging people to do their best in every single match.”
Marshall and Wittwer proved to be tough competition for their opponents in the indoor championship helping the team to finish fifth. Marshall won five out of six matches and Wittwer winning all three of her singles games.
Head coach Scott Riggle has seen the two improve from last season.
“Julie did extremely well,” Riggle said. “She is really fit and she is never out of position. Claire is getting better and better every week. She has accuracy with her shots and she’s rounding out her game, I’m proud of her.”
Although the team is doing well early in the season, their goal is to get to the national tournament and win. The team is continually improving, but must continue to improve until the end of the season.
“We’re still a young team and we’re making a lot of progress, but as a team we need to round out our game,” Riggle said.
“Since we are playing top twenty teams, I expect us to rise to the occasion and hopefully get to the national tournament,” Marshall said. “We are a deep team this year.”