Game Time...Northwestern College resumes its 2013 women's tennis season this weekend as they play a pair of non-conference matches. The Red Raiders face Martin Luther (Minn.) on Friday night, March 22, at 7:00pm in New Ulm, Minn. They will then take on Northern State (S.D.) on Saturday night, March 23, in Sioux Falls, S.D. at 6:30pm.
All-Time...This is the first ever match-up against both of these teams.
Scouting Martin Luther...The Knights are 0-1 this year, losing to Northern State (S.D.), a NCAA D-II program, 9-0 on Feb. 2. Martin Luther, an NCAA D-III school, plays in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) and was picked to finish fourth out of six teams in the preseason poll.
MLC returns one starter from a 2012 team that finished with a 4-6 league record, 4-9 overall. Jackie Keller is the top returner and went 0-2 in singles play, 4-8 in doubles in 2012. Carissa Kock is the other returner and went 3-4 last season. Five newcomers/freshmen join this year's team.
Scouting Northern State...The Wolves are 7-3 this season, winning seven of its last eight matches since starting the year with an 0-2 mark. Members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and an NCAA D-II school, they are 6-3 in league play. Most recently, they earned a 9-0 win over Southwest Minnesota State on March 1.
Mark Lovrien is in his second season as the Wolves head coach after spending several years as the top assistant. After a one-year hiatus from tennis at Northern State, coach Lovrien brings back two players from a 2011 team that finished 7-10, 4-6 in league play.
Senior returner Jamie Golden leads the Wolves with a 3-0 singles record and is 3-0 with partner Deanie Hatch in double play. Hatch is 4-1 in singles play, mainly in the top two slots. Valerie Robinson is 4-1 in singles play in her first season at Northern State, playing mainly #6.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are 1-3 this season, 1-1 in the spring. They have not played since a 7-2 win over Grand View back on Feb. 15. Northwestern lost to the University of South Dakota earlier in February and lost to Dubuque and Buena Vista last fall.
Sophomore Frankie Eszes leads the Red Raiders with a 2-2 singles record, 3-1 in doubles play with partner Jami Koens. The 2012 GPAC player of the year and All-American is just the 11th player in Red Raider history to record 20 or more wins in a career, entering Friday night's match with a 20-6 career mark. Sophomore Hannah Stark is 1-3 playing #3 singles and is 1-1 in doubles with partner Amanda Bueltel. Bueltel is 1-1 in singles play in the #6 spot.
Up Next...Northwestern will open conference play on April 4 against Mount Marty in Yankton, S.D.