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June 15, 2012

2012 WOMEN'S TENNIS SEASON REVIEW

Head coach Jon Miedema (left) talks over strategy with Kim Sawyer and Meghan Wethington during the Vikings' 2011-12 season.

In his first season as head coach of the Augustana women’s tennis team, Jon Miedema led the 2011-12 Vikings to a 15-11 record and a fourth-place finish at the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin tournament in October. Sophomore Kim Sawyer (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) and senior captain Brittany Reece (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.) were All-CCIW selections this year. Sawyer was named to the first team and Reece was a second team selection. The team advanced to the league’s automatic qualifier in May, falling to Wheaton to end the season.

Augustana began the year 0-2 after losses to Illinois Wesleyan and Grinnell. However, the Vikings responded to win four of the next five matches with wins over Loras, Millikin, Elmhurst, and St. Norbert and a loss to Carthage to move to 4-3 on the season. After splitting the weekend of September 17th with a loss to Cornell and a win against Lake Forest, the lady Vikings had a 5-4 record. The next two matches pitted Augustana against tough conference opponents in losses to Wheaton and North Central. Miedema’s team responded well with two wins to head into conference tournament play with a 7-6 record.

Augustana wrapped up its fall season with a fourth place finish at the College Conference of Illinois Wisconsin tournament on October 7-8 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Vikings tallied 33 points in the event while Wheaton led the way with 78 points, Carthage placed second with 45 points and Illinois Wesleyan third with 35 points. Rounding out the group were North Central (30), Elmhurst (10), and Millikin (0).

In the spring, the Vikings put together an 8-5 record, including a four-match winning streak in which they won 35 of 36 individual matches against Monmouth, Dubuque, Loras and Beloit.

While the season didn’t bring about many new faces to the team the squad did face playing many players in unfamiliar positions. Sawyer, who was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, led the way with a 27-7 record at first singles. That win total is the tied for second-highest in school history, trailing only the 29 she posted as a freshman. Her career singles record of 56-14 is good for a .800 winning percentage that’s currently tied for first on the all-time singles winning percentage list. Also, in combination with her doubles wins with partner Meghan Wethington (Geneseo HS, Geneseo, Ill.), Sawyer moved to 92 career wins, putting her on pace to join the 100 win club (combined singles and doubles wins) early next fall. This is a feat which only 18 players have accomplished in the history of Augustana women’s tennis. Sawyer was named CCIW “Player of the Week” on September 14th and April 18th and was a first team all-conference selection for the second year in a row.

Playing second singles for the Vikings was Reece. She played many matches for the Blue and Gold last season but had to make the adjustment from five singles a year ago to second singles. Despite the 11-18 singles record, Reece played well and her game improved as the year progressed. In the conference tournament she provided a pivotal first round win over North Central and went on to place fourth. In addition, she combined with partner Krista Panko (Geneva HS, Geneva, Ill.) to go 17-10 at number two doubles and earn a third place finish in the conference tournament as they defeated Illinois Wesleyan 8-6 in the third place match. In the semi finals of the tournament the Vikings were edged 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 by Wheaton. Reece finished her career with 108 total wins, 15th on the school’s all-time list, and she and Panko combined for 28 career doubles wins, eight-most of any tandem in school history. Reece’s 60 total doubles wins are tied for 10th on the Viking career list.

Panko played number three singles as well as number two doubles. Although she moved up to a higher position than last year, she still managed to go 13-14 on the year. She was 0-1 at fourth singles, 8-12 at third singles, 1-0 at two singles and 1-0 at first singles. She saved her best for last in the fall, as she won 8-1 in the third place match to go 3-1 in the conference tournament. Her win also sealed fourth place for the Vikings.

Playing four singles and first doubles for the Blue and Gold was Wethington. A junior this season, she played sparingly in singles last year and had to get accustomed to her new role at fourth singles. She did so admirably as she used tremendous effort to go 11-16 on the season. Wethington also had a key first round win in the CCIW tournament as she defeated Carthage in three sets. Wethington and Sawyer teamed up to go 11-14 on the season at number one doubles, where they lost several well contested matches. However, despite those narrow losses early in the year the duo used a close match of their own to edge North Central 9-8 in a pivotal match on Saturday at the conference tournament.

Fifth singles saw split time between Emily Kaczmarek (Glenbard South HS, Lombard, Ill.) and Katie Scharnagle (St. Francis College Prep, Lisle, Ill.). Both sophomores also had to get adjusted to brand new roles and did so with tremendous attitudes and hard work. Kaczmarek went 6-6 on the season, going 1-1 at fourth, 4-5 at fifth and 1-0 at sixth singles. She handed the reigns over in the conference tournament, as Scharnagle finished 3-1 to earn a third place finish with key wins over Illinois Wesleyan and Carthage. Scharnagle finished 11-7 in singles play this year. Kaczmarek not only played well in singles but also teamed with freshman partner Chelsea Lavin (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) to go 6-6 on the year at third doubles. The duo earned a key first round match win in the conference tournament fighting back from down 6-1, 4-1 to pull off the victory in three sets.

Rounding out the top six singles players was sophomore Mariah Bardo (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.). Bardo went 17-9 on the year compiling the second-highest winning percentage of any singles player on the team at .654. Bardo’s steady play earned her a fourth-place finish at the conference tournament with a pivotal three set win over North Central in the first round.

Augustana finished the season with an overall winning percentage of .564 in singles and .567 in doubles.

2011 CCIW CHAMPIONSHIPS

October 7-8, 2011***Carthage College***Kenosha, Wisconsin

TEAM SCORES: 1. Wheaton (72); 2. Carthage (45); 3. Illinois Wesleyan (35); 4. Augustana (33); 5. North Central (30); 6. Elmhurst (10); 7. Millikin (0).

POS

RESULT

Singles

 

1.

Elizabeth Worowicz (WHEATON) def. Kim Sawyer (AUGIE) 6-1, 6-2

2.

Bari Reynolds (CARTHAGE) def. Sarah Ray (Wheaton) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1

 

Brittany Reece (AUGIE) finishes fourth

3.

Kirsten Boyer (WHEATON) def. Kristina Naidicz (CARTHAGE) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0

 

Krista Panko (AUGIE) finishes third

4.

Lauren Schlabach (Wheaton) def. Madeline Urban (NCC) 6-2, 4-6, 6-0

5.

Marissa Shults (Wheaton) def Stephanie Brunetti (NCC) 6-1, 6-3

 

Katie Scharnagle (AUGIE) finishes third

6.

Julia Carey (WHEATON) def. Amanda Bizub (CARTHAGE) 6-1, 6-2

 

Mariah Bardo (AUGIE) finishes third

Doubles

 

1.

Elizabeth Worsowicz/Sarah Ray (WHEATON) def. Hollis McPeek/Kristina Naidicz(CARTHAGE) 6-3, 7-5

 

Kim Sawyer/Meghan Wethington (AUGIE) finishes fourth

2.

Bari Reynolds/Erin Henrickson (CARTHAGE) def. Melanie Milling/Marissa Shults (WHEATON) 6-3, 6-1

 

Krista Panko/Brittany Reece (AUGIE) finishes third

3.

Stephanie Brunetti/Madeline Urban (NCC) def. Kirsten Boyer/Julia Carey (WHEATON) 6-3, 6-3

 

Emily Kaczmarek/Chelsea Lavin (AUGIE) finishes fourth

2011-12 AUGUSTANA SUPERLATIVES

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS: Kim Sawyer (1st team), Brittany Reece (2nd team)

CCIW TEAM FINISH: 4th place

CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Chelsea Lavin, Brittany Reece, Kim Sawyer, Katie Scharnagle, Meghan Wethington

MOST SINGLES WINS: 27, Kim Sawyer (27-7)

MOST DOUBLES WINS: 20, Brittany Reece (17 w/Krista Panko, 3 w/Kim Sawyer)

CCIW “PLAYER OF THE WEEK”: Kim Sawyer (09/14/11 & 04/18/12); Brittany Reece (05/02/12)

TOP TEN SINGLE-SEASON WINS—SINGLES: 27, Kim Sawyer (T-2nd)

TOP TEN CAREER WINNING PCT.—SINGLES: .800, Kim Sawyer (T-1st)

TOP TEN CAREER WINS—DOUBLES (Team): 28, Brittany Reece/Krista Panko (8th)

TOP TEN CAREER WINS—DOUBLES (Individual): 60, Brittany Reece (T-10th)

100 WIN CLUB: 108, Brittany Reece (15th)