Despite recent back-to-back losses, Eagles make midseason turnaround


Photo by: Dylan Paulus After losing four of her first five matches, Moira Hedberg has won her last six.

By Amye Ellsworth, Senior Reporter



Women’s tennis started the season with five crushing losses, but now they are the ones dominating.

Led by interim head coach Dustin Hinson, the Eagles’ biggest win was the 7-0 defeat of Seattle University on Feb. 23.

Sophomores Moira Hedberg and Chrissy Uriarte are on their own individual winning streaks.

Uriarte has won five of her last six matches, and Hedberg has won her last six. Although they are always excited to win individually, Hedberg and Uriarte said it is better to win as a team.

“It’s always nice winning, but unless the team wins, it doesn’t matter too much,” Uriarte said.

Hinson, Hedberg and Uriarte all agree that the determining factor in this winning streak is the team’s newfound sense of confidence in themselves and their abilities.

“They’re getting to a point where they’re getting confident in their shots and their playing ability. With each match we’ve won, you can see their confidence building,” Hinson said. “They’re stepping out on the court thinking, ‘I know that I can win this.’”

Hinson said that not playing tentatively and not being afraid to lose are important to building individual confidence.

“In tennis, if you’re afraid to lose, you play tentative. Then you do lose because you’re not hitting the shots that it takes to win,” he said.

The team has been working on coming away from their losses in a way that makes them stronger.

“It’s hard to lose, but we try to pull positives out and learn from it,” Hinson said. “I feel like they really did that, and I think those losses were helpful [for] the girls [to] gain some confidence in moving forward.”

According to Uriarte, these past wins have been just what she needed to start playing to her full potential. She has been using her practice time to focus on making the shots that usually trouble her the most during games.

Hedberg has noticed a difference in her teammates’ intensity, especially the seniors, during the last few matches. She said that seniors Kelsey Knight, Rocio Norena, Chelsea Patton and Ryann Warner are beginning to realize that their college tennis careers are coming to a close.

Because of this, they have been working harder to ensure wins for the team. Hedberg said that the intensity of the seniors has transferred to the rest of the team, allowing them to secure big wins over their competition.

“Against Seattle, we had a lot of close matches and we were already up 4-0,” Hedberg said. “We had already won, but everyone still fought through because we wanted to win 7-0 that bad.”

In regards to the seniors, Hinson said he admired Patton’s leadership role on the team and her ability to rebound after a loss.

The Seattle University victory was Patton’s first individual win of the season. Hinson also commented on Knight’s knowledge of the game in terms of knowing what she needs to do to secure a win. Knight is currently on a four-game winning streak.

However, Hinson acknowledged that it is not just one individual player that can secure a win; it is a team effort.

“I give all the credit to the players,” he said. “Everyone across the board has been doing great and contributing.”

According to Hinson, the Eagles have a few more tough matches to contend with before the season is done, but Uriarte is not worried about taking on the challenge.

“We can beat good teams if we just play the way I know we can play,” she said.