SMU women have MIAC hopes dashed with 6-3 setback vs. Oles;
Cardinal men open with 7-2 win, falter in 8-1 loss against St. Olaf
But they had to beat St. Olaf Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the Oles turned SMU's hopes from slim to none, as St. Olaf handed Saint Mary's a 7-2 setback at the SMU Tennis Center.
"It's always tough to lose, and you can always try and find reasons why we lost, but to be honest, the better team won today," said Halberg, whose men's team also fell to the Oles (8-1), but did open the day's play with a victory over Concordia-Wisconsin. "St. Olaf is a very steady team, and that proved to be the difference. We play an aggressive style, and in the wind today, that hurt us a bit. (St. Olaf) is so good on the baseline, we just couldn't put anything past them."
The Oles kicked off the match with wins in two of the three doubles matches, including a 9-7 win at No. 2, after falling behind 5-0. Ann Leeder (Greenfield, Wis.) and Aubrey Hirsch (Topeka, Kan.) accounted SMU's doubles win, posting an 8-2 victory at No. 1.
Leeder also picked up one of the Cardinals' two singles, wins, rallying from one-set down to beat Jorie Steffen, 4-6, 6-0, 10-7 at No. 2. Val Meschke (Pine River, Minn.), meanwhile, posted her 15th win of the season at No. 3 to account for SMU's other win.
The Cardinal men got off on the right foot vs. the Falcons early Saturday but it wasn't easy.
Adam Solseth (Shakopee, Minn.), Steve Clements (La Crosse, Wis.), Tony Miller (Rochester, Minn.) and David Reckase (La Crosse, Wis.) all recorded singles wins, but Solseth and Clements each needed three sets losing the first while Reckase went to back-to-back tiebreakers for his 7-6, 7-6 win at No. 5. Solseth and Steve Grundhoefer (St. Paul, Minn.) teamed for the Cardinals' lone doubles win, an 8-4 decision at No. 1.
The Cardinals had two more matches go the maximum three sets against St. Olaf, but there was no third-set magic this time around, as Miller and Reckase both dropped the final set, 10-6 and 10-4, respectively.
"It's always tough to lose, but everyone played theri hearts out," said Halberg. "The guys put together a nice performance early in the day (against Concordia-Wis.), but they just couldn't seem to get over the hump against St. Olaf.
"And the ladies, it's was a tough match from start to finish, (St. Olaf) was just a bit better today."