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Women Sweep Kaskaskia for First Region 24 Win

Article by: Jim Hunstein,

GODFREY – The Lewis and Clark Community College women’s tennis team opened their Region 24 schedule with a road sweep of Kaskaskia College Tuesday, March 22.  The 9-0 win gives the Trailblazers a 1-0 start in the Region and 1-3 overall.


“We played well, or as well as could be expected under some very challenging circumstances,” said Head Coach Jim Hunstein. 


These circumstances included steady winds of about 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 and 50 miles per hour. 


“It was definitely a bit airy,” Hunstein said. “The courts at KC are usually pretty windy anyway, but this was extra special. It was a day more about will than skill. It was brutal out there. The only thing worse would have been cross winds. At least it wasn’t cold as well.”


Most serve tosses, usually just a few feet high, were blown several feet in front or behind the player. Balls hit hard into the wind would stop as though they hit a wall, and balls lightly touched going with the wind would sail long.


“At times it was pretty comical as balls and players were getting blown around,” said Hunstein. “It takes a pretty large sense of humor to play in those conditions. It’s easy to get frustrated, but our women understood and made the adjustments they needed to make to win.”


The number one doubles team of Mel Schlaeger of Hanau, Germany, and Nikki Stiner of Troy, Illinois, won 8-1. Number two doubles, Maddie Sweicicki of Maryville, Illinois, and Jane Grieser of Springfield, Illinois, served the first shutout of the year, winning 8-0.  


In singles, everyone won in straight sets. Schlaeger won at #1 6-1, 6-1; Steiner won at #2 6-0, 6-2; Sweicicki won at #3 6-0, 6-0; Grieser won at #4 6-1, 6-0; and Miranda Jackson of Jerseyville, Illinois, won at #5 6-2, 6-2. Kaskaskia only had five players, so L&C won by default at three doubles and six singles.


Region 24 competition continues for the women Thursday, March 24. The Trailblazers are scheduled to host Rend Lake College at 3 p.m, weather permitting.  “It won’t be as windy, thankfully,” Hunstein said. “It’s supposed to be dropping temperatures into the 40s all day, so we’ll see. We might need to reschedule.”


After that, the team is headed up to Springfield, Illinois, for the annual Hack Kellner Tournament. The Trailblazer will face three touch opponents; Kentucky Wesleyan College Friday, March 25, at 1 p.m. On Saturday, March 26, they face William Jewell College at 9 a.m. and University of Illinois-Springfield at 1 p.m.  The first two matches, KWC and WJC, will be played at Washington Park in Springfield while the UIS match will move to Glenwood High School in Chatham, Illinois.


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