GODFREY - The Lewis and Clark Community College women’s tennis team defended its Region 24 title and proved it is once again the team to beat to get to the national championship in 2016.
The Trailblazers shut out Rend Lake College 9-0 in a Region 24 match-up at the Andy Simpson Tennis Center at Lewis and Clark Community College Thursday. Although the team’s overall record is only 5-4, they are a perfect 2-0 in Region 24 play. They have posted 9-0 shutouts of both Kaskaskia and Rend Lake Colleges.
The match started strong with all three doubles teams winning handily. The No. 1 doubles team of sophomores Mel Schlaeger of Hanau, Germany, and Nikki Steiner of Troy, Ill. dropped their first game but then ran the table to win 8-1. Freshmen Jane Grieser of Springfield, Ill., and Maddie Sweicicki of Maryville at No. 2 doubles were barely challenged in their 8-0 win. Freshmen Miranda Jackson of Jerseyville and Molly Stumpf of Alhambra won 8-2 at No. 3 doubles.
Most of the singles matches took a similar path. At No. 4 singles, Sweicicki continued to post zeroes winning 6-0, 6-0. She didn’t lose a game all day. Schlaeger (No. 1 singles) won 6-2, 6-0; Steiner (No. 2) won 6-1, 6-3; Jackson (No. 5) won 6-2, 6-1 and Stumpf (No. 6) won 6-2, 6-2.
The only contested match of the day was Grieser’s battle at No. 3 singles. She dropped the first set 3-6 but started playing much better and came back to win the second set 6-4. In the third set (played as a 10-point super-tiebreaker), the two players kept up the even play until Grieser took a 9-6 lead. Her opponent fought back to tie the score at 9-9 when Grieser regained the momentum and closed out the set and match at 11-9.
Based on the current standings, Kaskaskia and Rend Lake will play in the first round of the Region 24 Championships Friday, April 15. That match will most likely be played at Kaskaskia. The two teams have played twice this season, with Rend Lake winning both.
L&C will face the winner on Saturday, April 16, at 11 a.m. That match will be played at the Andy Simpson Tennis Center on the L&C campus. The winner will earn a berth in the NCJAA National Championships to be played May 7-12 at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. Last year, the Trailblazers defeated Rend Lake 6-3 in the title match on their way finishing the year ranked No. 22 in the country.
For the latest Trailblazer news, visit lc.edu/athletics.