– Ashley Williams (Defiance, OH)
The Defiance Women’s Tennis (DCWT) squad took on Manchester University in an HCAC match on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. The Yellow Jackets fought in an 0-9 bout which was not accurately depicted by the score.
Defiance (1-5, 0-2 HCAC) started off competitively in doubles, with Marquez and Hesterman taking Manchester University’s first doubles to nine games. Although momentum went back and forth, DCWT was not able to finish out and Manchester (2-1, 2-0 HCAC) took a 3-0 lead after doubles play.
For singles play, senior Nicole Tank battled in the fourth spot. Her effort came to an end when she fell behind with scores of 4-6 and 3-6. Hesterman again came out strong again in her singles match, forcing her opponent to the only tie-break score of the afternoon. With rally after rally, Hesterman eventually fell 6-7, 7-2, and 3-6.
Savannah Marquez, playing at the one spot, explained what the biggest asset she provides for the team. “Leadership [is my biggest contribution]. I’m a senior and I encourage everyone to do the best they can because that’s how we can accomplish our collective goal.”
Nicole Tank, also a senior, discussed what she was most looking forward to for her season. “The outcomes as a team because we are getting better every single day. Also, the memories we will make together.”
Finishing out, Head Coach Ault, a Yellow Jacket graduate, discussed one of his favorite things about coaching the tennis squads at Defiance College.
“[My favorite thing] is being able to coach both teams. Every year, at least one person from each team will ask me which I prefer, the men or women. My response has been that when the women’s season is over, I am definitely ready to be with the guys. And once the men’s season comes to an end, I’m ready to have a team full of women again. It’s also helpful that we have a very close, supportive relationship between the two teams. It is definitely a tennis family.”
Ault, coming off a win from the previous match, elaborated on how he prepared his team for this match.
“It was exhilarating getting our first win! This is my second year with a program that has suffered through some hard times over the last 10 years or so and seeing the hard work that the girls put in paying off has been worth every minute spent out on the courts. In terms of preparing for Manchester, we really do feel that we are viewed as the underdogs in every single match we play in. Confidence can be such a powerful tool in tennis, so we basked in the good feeling glow of our victory for a few days. This team is definitely the beginning of something great and it’s important to keep rolling that confidence over from match to match, regardless of the outcome.”
The Yellow Jackets will continue play Wednesday, September 23 as they travel to Richmond, Indiana to play HCAC opponent Earlham College.