Wichita, Kan. - The Bethel College women's tennis team continued its dominance of the KCAC by winning its fifth straight tournament championship to qualify for the NAIA National Tennis Championships to be held in Mobile, Ala. May 15-19.
The Threshers met up with the Falcons of Friends University in the semifinal round. Bethel College swept the doubles in fairly easy fashion to take a commanding 3-0 lead heading into singles play. Katie Malotte and Steph Shogren dispensed of their singles opponents quickly to end the match with Bethel winning 5-0.
Bethel 5 Friends 0
#1 Doubles - Malotte/Mi. Weaver def. Johnson/Berry 8-4
#2 Doubles - Shogren/Koester def. Lepping/O'Rielly 8-1
#5 Singles - Allie Hipp
led Kassie Welch 6-0, 3-0 unf.
"We really had a great week of practice and our focus for most of the week centered around doubles." Head coach Lonnie Isaac said. "That showed as we were able to be up 3-0 heading into singles in both matches. All three of our doubles teams played really solid all day and for the most part we were agressive at the net and really moved well."
The championship match against rival Tabor College opened up as a mirror image of the semifinal match. The Threshers were able to jump out to a 3-0 lead after the doubles competition and Shogren and Allie Hipp took care of their singles opponents only dropping three games combined to finish off the match and secure the championship trophy.
"I certainly also want to congratulate Tabor on a great year," Isaac said. "They had a much longer semifinal match than us and on a hot day that worked in our favor. It was a priority for us alll year to condition more to prepare for this moment and we knew that this was going to be a hot week. On Monday we emphasized to our players to eat right and begin taking in a lot of fluids to avoid problems and I think all the players did a great job of being physically ready for a long day."
Bethel 5 Tabor 0
#1 Doubles - Malotte/Mi. Weaver def. Brown/A. Faber 8-3
#2 Doubles - Shogren/Koester def. B.Faber/Friesen 8-3
#3 Doubles - Hipp/Ma. Weaver def. Hiett/Lindtroth-Yates 8-5
#5 Singles - Allie Hipp
def. Marissa Hiett 6-1, 6-0
#6 Singles - Ashley Suhr
led Karly Lindroth-Yates 6-1, 4-1
"I was really proud of all of our players today. This group has just been really steady all year and they responded well to anything us as coaches asked of them. They have been a real joy to coach." Isaac commented. "I felt like today we played our best tennis which is what you want at the end of the year. Hopefully we can have another great week of practice and continue to improve as we head to the national tournament. If we can get a favorable matchup I feel like we have a chance to be successful. This team is very deep and if we play like we are capable I think we can be dangerour for any higher seed that we draw."
In ceremonies after the championship match, All-KCAC selections were announced. Allie Hipp and Ashley Suhr were 2nd team selections. Ashley Koester, Katie Malotte, Steph Shogren and Miranda Weaver were 1st team selections. Ashley Koester was voted the KCAC Freshman of the Year. Allie Hipp was selected the KCAC Newcomer of the Year. KCAC Scholar Athlete of the year went to Miranda Weaver and for the third straight year Katie Malotte was chosen as the KCAC Most Valuable Player. Lonnie Isaac was voted the KCAC Coach of the Year.