Category Archives: Tennis

Men’s tennis opens CCIW play

April 12 2018

After a week break, the Thunder Men’s Tennis team returned to action on Friday, April 6 against Illinois Wesleyan University. Wheaton also had two more conference matchups: one against Millikin University on Saturday, April 7 and one against Elmhurst College on Wednesday, April 11.

Wheaton opened up conference play looking like true defending CCIW Champions. They swept doubles and singles play easily; their closest match was No. 1 doubles, which ended up being a 8-5 victory for the pair of sophomores Jeremiah Yi and Dane Paulsen. Senior Karl Wenzel and freshman Anderson Park won the No. 2 doubles match 8-1, and sophomore Andrew Bristol and junior Josh Cheng won the No. 3 doubles match 8-1 as well.

In singles play against IWU, Park won the No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-2. Paulsen won the No. 2 match 6-0, 6-1, and Yi handley beat his No. 3 opponent 6-0, 6-0. Cheng, Wenzel and freshman Andrew Winters each won their respective matches as well.

The following afternoon, Wheaton traveled to Millikin University to take on the Big Blue. Millikin had strong doubles pairs and bested Wheaton in No. 1 and 2 doubles. Cheng and Bristol were able to beat their No. 3 doubles opponent 8-1.

Park continued to play well as Wheaton’s No. 1 singles player and won his match against Millikin’s No. 1 singles player 6-1, 6-2. Paulsen won the No. 2 singles match 6-3, 6-0. In a very close match, Yi was able to come away with a victory in the No. 3 singles matchup in 5-7, 7-6 (10-8), 10-5 fashion. Cheng, Wenzel, and Winters won their No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 respective matches again.

Yesterday afternoon, Wheaton hosted Elmhurst College for their third CCIW matchup in a row. Similar to their victory over IWU, the Thunder swept doubles and singles play against the Bluejays. Elmhurst’s tennis team had five players on their team, so Wheaton won the No. 3 doubles match and No. 6 singles match by default.

According to Yi, matchups across the conference have all been relatively close, but Augustana College is looking like it’s going to be Wheaton’s toughest opponent.

The Wheaton Men’s Tennis team will host Concordia University (Wisc.) on Saturday, April 14 at 4 p.m.


Men’s Tennis back on their feet after first win of season

March 29 2018

After a 0-9 start to their season, the Wheaton Men’s Tennis team gained a strong victory over Edgewood last Friday, March 23.

Last week against Luther College, a few of the athletes were recovering from or dealing with injuries. “Going into Luther I was coming off an injury so I wasn’t feeling or playing 100 percent,” junior Josh Cheng said.

The Thunder won 9-0 and swept doubles and singles play, putting on a clinic against the now 1-8 Edgewood College Eagles.

“We haven’t had the most luck in the bottom of our line but seeing the bottom sweep against Edgewood was really great,” Yi said.

Freshman Anderson Park, sophomore Dane Paulsen, sophomore Jeremiah Yi, Cheng, senior Karl Wentzel and sophomore Andrew Bristol all were victorious over their Edgewood singles opponents.

“Edgewood was a pesky team that would scrap a bunch of balls back and make us earn the points but we were able to come out on top dominantly,” Cheng said.

Yi and Paulsen were Wheaton’s No. 1 double pair for the day and won their matchup. No. 2 pair Park and Wenzel as well as No. 3 pair of junior Christopher Jones and freshman Alexander Winters both won their matches.

“We fought really hard, supported each other and gave each point our very best,” Park said.

The Wheaton Men’s Tennis team will get Easter weekend off from competition and will open up CCIW competition on Friday, April 6 at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The Illinois Wesleyan Men’s Tennis team is 2-6 so far this season and lost to Wheaton in the CCIW Championship quarterfinal last spring 6-0.


Rough start for Wheaton Men’s Tennis team

March 22 2018

The Wheaton tennis team lost a close match to Luther College last Saturday, March 17. The final score was 5-4 after competition ended.

“Coming into the match we had a lot of injuries,” sophomore Jeremiah Yi said, “Our #5 (ranked player) had a chipped bone and was playing in a cast while our #4 (ranked player) had sprained his ankle and had come into the match with only a week of practice.”

In singles competition, freshman Anderson Park and sophomore Dane Paulsen both won their singles matches. Park won his match in two games with final scores of 6-1, 6-1, while Paulsen won in three with final scores of 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

However, the four other matches went to Luther in singles competition.

In doubles competition, the pairs of Park/senior Karl Wenzel and sophomore Andrew Brist/junior Josh Cheng both won their doubles matches respectively, but Luther won the rest of the doubles matches.

Wheaton’s Men’s Tennis team is 0-9 so far this season which is their worst opening record in more than 10 years. The Thunder have yet to open conference play, and their first CCIW matchup is against Illinois Wesleyan University on April 6. “Although we haven’t had the best season so far” Yi said, “I think that we can compete really well in our conference and hopefully nationals.”

The Wheaton Men’s Tennis team will host Edgewood College on Friday, March 23 at 3:30 p.m. at Centre Court Athletic Club in Hanover Park, Ill.


Women’s Tennis: 21-time CCIW Champions

October 27, 2017

After a three year conference championship drought, the Thunder ended up on top at the end of the competition this past weekend.

The Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Conference Championship Tournament spanned three days from Thursday, Oct. 19 through Saturday, Oct. 21. Heading into the tournament, each team was awarded points for their regular season CCIW ranking. Augustana had the best CCIW record and started the tournament with nine points, and Wheaton was awarded eight points with the second best CCIW record.

On day one, Wheaton College and Augustana College were tied after they each won the first round of matches in No. 1-6 singles and No. 1-3 doubles. Top seed in No. 1 singles Wheaton senior captain Katie Park advanced to the second day with a victory over North Park’s No. 1 singles player. In fact, all of Wheaton’s singles players advanced to the second day after the first day of competition mainly against Illinois Wesleyan and North Central.

In doubles play, Wheaton looked just as dominant with three doubles matches and three doubles victories. No. 1 doubles pair sophomore Claire Browning and Park, the top seed in the tournament, advanced past North Central’s No. 1 doubles duo.

After the second day it looked like Augustana might three-peat the CCIW team champion award when they led with 54 points. Wheaton stayed close behind with 51 points. Wheaton took a tough blow when junior Sara Magnuson was upset in No. 2 singles play by a Carthage player. The Thunder did rally to win out doubles play and the rest of singles play, but it did mean that they had three points of catching up to do.

On the third day, Wheaton emerged victorious with a final point total of 68, beating the defending conference champions, Augustana, by two points. Despite Park being upset in the No. 1 singles championship match, the Thunder was able to win enough points to pass their opponent. Senior Miranda Kay, junior Emma Westwick, Browning, and freshman Emme Lindquist won each of the No. 3-6 matches, all against Augustana players. Augustana was able to beat Wheaton’s No. 1 and No. 3 doubles duos, but the No. 2 Thunder pair of Kay and Magnuson beat their Augustana opponent.

Wheaton’s depth once again helped their team to victory despite top seeds losing. The Thunder will graduate Park who was first team all-CCIW and Kay who was second team all-CCIW this season.

Women’s Tennis extends undefeated CCIW record

October 5, 2017

With decisive victories over Carroll University and Carthage College, the Women’s Tennis team extends their undefeated record and proves that they are the CCIW team to beat.

Against Carroll University on Saturday Sept. 29, senior captain Katie Park won the No. 1 singles. Then Wheaton swept the rest of singles play with victories from junior Sara Magnuson, senior Miranda Kay, junior Emma Westwick, sophomore Claire Browning and freshman Emme Lindquist.

“We knew that we would have to compete hard against both Carthage and Carroll,” Park said, “and our level of focus in both our practices and our matches throughout the whole week reflected this mindset.”

The Park and Browning pairing won the No. 1 doubles. Kay and Magnuson won the No. 2 doubles while Freeman and Lindquist finished out Wheaton’s sweep of doubles play.

According to the CCIW rankings, Carroll University is the fifth ranked team in the conference with a 2-3 conference record after losing to Wheaton on Saturday.

Last Wednesday, Sept. 27, the Thunder competed against Carthage College. Park won the No. 1 singles, and Magnuson, Kay, Westwick, Browning and Lindquist won their singles matches as well. In doubles play, Park and Browning won the No. 1 doubles. The pairs of Kay/Magnuson and Freeman/Lindquist won their matches as well.

According to the CCIW rankings, Carthage College is the third ranked team in the conference with a 3-2 record against other teams in the conference (including their loss to Wheaton).

“From year to year one of the biggest strengths of our team is our depth,” Park said. “Every player on our team has worked hard to get to where they are, and it is both exciting and rewarding to have teammates who constantly challenge each other.”

Wheaton is the top ranked team in the CCIW with a 5-0 conference record and 6-0 record overall. Augustana College is the second ranked team in the conference with a 5-0 CCIW record and a 7-1 record overall.

“Our goal is to get better each week so that we peak at the end of season during the conference tournament,” Park said. “We want to build on the focus and energy we had last week and continue to improve both physically and mentally.”

Magnuson earned her first CCIW Women’s Tennis Player of the Week award for her dominating performances against Carroll and Carthage.

The Thunder will face North Park University on Friday, Oct. 6 at the tennis courts here at Wheaton at 5 p.m. North Park is the ninth and bottom-ranked team in the CCIW with a 1-5 conference record and 3-6 record overall.

More success for Women’s Tennis

September 14, 2017

With decisive victories over Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) and Millikin University this weekend, the Wheaton Women’s Tennis team has high hopes for another successful season.

“The biggest success from our victory was having two conference wins to start our season,” junior Sara Magnuson said.  

The Thunder swept singles play against IWU on Friday and were victorious in all singles matches against Millikin on Saturday. The six singles victories went to senior captain Katie Park, Magnuson, senior captain Miranda Kay, junior Emma Westwick, sophomore Claire Browning and freshman Emme Lindquist.

Despite their strength in the singles matches, Magnuson said that her team is not satisfied. “There definitely is stuff we as a team need to work on and we are just getting started,” Magnuson said.

“Our team is traditionally strong in singles play and that was the case last Saturday as well,” Head Coach Jane Nelson said. “One of our areas of focus this season is to work hard on improving our doubles play.”

The Thunder did sweep IWU in doubles play on Friday, but lost one match to Millikin out of the three matches. The Park/Browning and Magnuson/Kay duos both won their respective matches.

“Our two seniors, Katie Park and Miranda Kay, both played well in their own individual matches,” Nelson said, “but they also showed good leadership skills getting the whole team to compete hard and give their best effort out on the court.”

The Wheaton Women’s Tennis team will travel to North Park University on Saturday, Sept. 16 to compete against the North Park Vikings at 10:30 a.m.

Tennis Recap

Over the course of this year, both men’s and women’s tennis teams have experienced impressive amounts of success. For the women, these results have become a usual occurrence. For the men, however, a season that has the team on the cusp of a CCIW tournament championship is not as much of a foregone conclusion.

Both teams’ losses have come outside of their CCIW matches. For the women, the team is 8-0 in CCIW play and 19-2 overall. The men are 5-0 in the CCIW and 12-7 throughout the season.

Since losing two matches straight in Oberlin, Ohio a few weeks ago, the men’s team has been firing on all cylinders, winning four straight series of matches. The women’s team has been similarly unstoppable by winning five straight games, last losing down south in Orlando, Flor. The women’s dominance has been perfectly exemplified by the fact that they have only lost two matches out of the past five match series, or 45 matches.

For the men’s team, senior Justin Ancona has been the team’s backbone, winning two CCIW Men’s Tennis Player of the Week awards. Sophomore Dane Paulsen and senior Matt Steiner also have stepped up and played large roles for the Thunder. Junior Katie Park has been on top of her game for the women’s team as the #1 singles, as well as senior Emily Jones and junior Miranda Kay.

Overall, the men’s team has much to be proud of, due to the team’s rocky start at the beginning of the season, which saw the team struggle to an initial record of 0-3.

“We have played an extremely difficult schedule this year including matches against a number of nationally ranked teams early on,” junior Karl Wenzel explained. “The team has done a great job rising to the occasion and is better because of it.”

Both men’s and women’s teams believe they have the talent and chemistry to be able to win their respective CCIW tournaments, which would give each team automatic NCAA tournament bids.

After losing to Carthage in the final match of the CCIW tournament last year by a score of 5-3 to Carthage, the men’s team is out for redemption during this year’s go-around. For the women, the team hopes to defend its 2016 CCIW title.

The thoughts of both teams can be summed up with the words of Wenzel, “I’m very excited to have the opportunity to compete for a berth in the national tournament and believe we have both the talent and the depth to win the CCIW.”

Down at the tennis court

With the coming of spring, an upswing in the mood on campus is quite tangible. Students are flying high on the recent stint of sunshine and warm weather. If you’re on the men’s and women’s tennis teams, then you’re flying high on wins, too. Coming off a 9-0 win against Elmhurst College, the Wheaton men’s tennis team is a strong 9-7 for their season. The women’s team is currently on a four-match winning streak with an impressive 18-2 record.

On April 11, the men’s team toppled Elmhurst, shutting them out 9-0. Senior Justin Ancona won the #1 singles 6-1, 6-2. Sophomore Dane Paulson went 6-0, 6-2 to win at #2 singles. Senior Matt Steiner and freshman Jeremiah Yi won their #3 and #4 singles, respectively. Ancona and Steiner competed together for an 8-5 #1 doubles win. Paulsen and Yi went 8-5 in the #2 doubles.

Against #12 nationally-ranked Case Western, the men fell 7-2 on April 8. Wheaton’s two victories came from the #1 singles and #1 doubles matches. Ancona went 6-3, 6-3 to earn Wheaton its first win of the match. Ancona teamed up Steiner for the #1 doubles match. The two won 8-5. Later in the day, Wheaton geared up for its second match against Oberlin College. Again, the Thunder went 7-2, with the men’s #1 singles and #1 doubles being the two wins of the match. Ancona went 6-4, 6-0 for his singles match. Ancona and Steiner went 8-1 in the doubles.

Ancona is confident that the men’s team will only continue to improve as he explained, “With the way the season has been going and the work the guys have put in, we feel confident that we can bring home the conference title at the end of the season.”

The women also had a double header match April 8, against Kalamazoo and Webster. Both times, the Thunder emerged victorious at 8-1. Senior Emily Jones won both of her #2 singles matches, going 6-4, 6-1 against Kalamazoo and 6-1, 6-2 against Webster. Juniors Miranda Kay and Kirstie White won singles matches at #3 and #4, respectively. Kay was 6-4, 6-1 against Kalamazoo and 6-0, 6-0 against Webster. White went 6-0, 7-5 to beat Kalamazoo and 6-0, 6-0 to earn a win against Webster.

All three of Wheaton’s women’s doubles won at both Kalamazoo and Webster. The #1 doubles was comprised of Jones and junior Katie Park. The duo went 9-8 at Kalamazoo before going on to win 8-3 against Webster. The #2 doubles, made up of Kay and sophomore Sara Magnuson, and #3 doubles, made up of White and freshman Claire Browning, both went 8-6 when facing their respective Kalamazoo doubles teams before going 8-1 and 8-0 against Webster, respectively.

The men resume play at home Thursday April 13 at 4 p.m. against Carthage College. The women have a nice rest before taking the court Friday April 21 to face off against Lake Forest College.

Tennis Preview

If there are three things Wheaton students should be excited about as we begin the last quad of the year, it is the sun, the men’s tennis team and the women’s tennis teams. The men’s team — which finished last year with a solid 14-8 and a second-place finish behind Carthage College for the conference title — currently stands 5-5 and appears to be continually improving as the CCIW tournament approaches this April.

The remarkable 14-2 women’s team have been quite dominant of late. The team is coming off a sweep in the CCIW AQ Championship and 10th visit to the NCAA Division III Championships, where they fell to Gustavus Adolphus College in the first round.

Much of the two teams’ success thus far is due to the impressive play coming from their upperclassmen. For the men, seniors Justin Ancona — who qualified for the NCAA Division III Individual Championships last year — Matt Steiner and Andrew Torok are all competing at high levels and demonstrating sound leadership to the rest of the team.

Behind the play of senior Emily Jones, junior Katie Park – who earned a singles victory in last year’s NCAA Regional Championships – and juniors Miranda Kay and Kirstie White, the women’s team finished second in the CCIW Women’s Tennis Championships this past October.

Led by cores of hard-working competitors, both tennis teams are in solid positions to continue their impressive starts to the seasons throughout the entire spring leading up to their respective CCIW Tournaments.

On a roll

After wrapping up the first-half of the spring semester, the women’s tennis team (12-1) packed their bags and flew to Central Florida to put their nine-match winning streak on the line.

The Thunder first squared off with Division II opponent Minnesota State Mankato (4-6) on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 8. The Thunder faced a 2-1 deficit heading into singles play, but quickly found their rhythm as they swept through all six singles matches. The Thunder finished on top with a 7-2 decision.

The same dominant performance carried on against Coe College (12-4) the next day. After giving up the first doubles, the Thunder bounced back by taking the last two doubles, courtesy of the team of junior Miranda Kay and sophomore Sarah Magnuson as well as senior Ann-Katherine Barrett and freshmen Claire Browning. Led by senior Emily Jones and junior Kirstie White, Wheaton won five of the six singles matches to overcome Coe with a 7-2 decision.

Wheaton’s final opponent was John Carroll University (3-6). John Carroll delivered the first blow winning the first doubles, but Wheaton quickly responded with Kay and Magnuson’s 8-4 and Barrett and Browning’s 8-5 decision to grab a 2-1 lead heading into singles. John Carroll countered with three consecutive singles wins to regain a 4-2 lead. The Thunder tied the match up 4-4 after Magnuson and Westwick’s stellar singles play. The match concluded with Browning dropping to a fiercely competitive decision of 6-1, 2-6, 10-5. Ultimately, Wheaton dropped the 5-4 decision.

After their performance in Florida, White said, “It was a magical time full of team bonding, great competition, excellent food, and lots of Harry Potter.” The Thunder arrived back in Wheaton, looking forward to their next matchup in Indiana against Saint Mary’s College on March 24.