After an average outing at last weekend’s women’s tennis tournament in Orlando, Fla., Marquette knew it needed to quickly remedy its miscues for a tournament the following weekend.
The Golden Eagles redeemed themselves at the Spartan Invitational this past weekend in East Lansing, Mich., earning a singles and doubles championship.
Aina Hernandez Soler and Rocio Diaz paired up to go undefeated in their doubles group, and Laia Hernandez Soler emerged as a champion in her singles group.
Coach Jody Bronson said she was much more impressed with how doubles performed after working all of last week on doubles with the team.
“I think we’ve shown that we’ve gotten better,” Bronson said. “We’re doing certain things better in each tournament, so the things we try to work on after we play in tournaments, those types of things are starting to show a little bit more.”
The doubles championship came down to two pairs of Marquette players, with Ali Dawson and Aleeza Kanner falling to teammates Diaz and Hernandez Soler, 8-6.
Bronson thought highly of the competition the team had to face and is thinking of the benefits from playing against slightly more difficult teams each time around.
“There were a lot of teams in this tournament, and for the most part, there weren’t any bad matches,” Bronson said. “The level of play is getting better. There are a lot more international players on every team, so everybody has good players. You just have to be prepared and at your best all the time.”
Some of the teams in the invitational included Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Dayton and Toledo. Freshman Erin Gebes is willing to go up against upper-tier teams and only sees this as a plus for when regular season matches come about.
“I think a lot of teams in the tournaments have solid programs, and it’s nice to play against those teams because we’ll be playing similarly leveled teams (in the spring),” she said.
The next tournament for Marquette will be the ITA Midwest Regional in Champaign, Ill., from Oct. 18-20. The Golden Eagles put heavy stress on improving doubles for the Spartan Invitational. Before the next tournament, Gebes anticipates the team will review positions and other fundamentals.
“I think for the next tournament we’re going to go back and work on positions,” Gebes said. “We played more aggressively (this weekend), but I think we can still try to come into that more. I think that we’ve made a lot of progress, and we’ll continue to work on doubles and singles, but there will be a lot of individual stuff we’ll be working on for each of us.”
Bronson said she wants the momentum to carry over and that one of the best ways the team can do that is to concentrate on its goals.
“I think you just need to be able to keep your focus, whether you’re up or down, and just be very aware of what’s going on in your match so you can take advantage when you need to,” Bronson said.