Bluejay tennis team finishes third in KCAC tournament

The Tabor women’s tennis team finished the season on a strong note, finishing third at the conference tournament this past weekend.

“We got some pretty good seeds,” said coach Kory Unruh. “But we just had some tough, tough matches in the singles first round that could have gone either way.”

Unruh said for the most part, the first round didn’t go the Bluejays’ way. At No. 1 singles, Katherine Klepper played Stephanie Beaker from Friends, whom she had lost to earlier in the season. Klepper lost in a three-setter, including a tie-breaker in third set.

In the consolation bracket, Klepper finished in fifth place.

Naila Kunateava won her first round at the No. 2 seed against Kansas Wesleyan. That win moved her into the quarterfinals. But in the second round Kunateava lost in a tight match to Friends’ player.

Playing for third, Kunateava easily defeated Blake from Sterling, 6-1, 6-3.

No.3 seed Nancy Isaac had a tough draw. She lost her first round, but won the second. Isaac lost in the match for fifth place, and ended up sixth.

Audrey Haynes had the same sort of day at the No. 4. She lost in the first round, sending her to the consolation bracket. But Haynes was able to win in consolation and finished fifth.

Erica Buller ended the day with a fourth-place finish for the No. 5 seed. She won in the first round and then lost a tight match to Southwestern. Playing for third, Buller lost to Friends.

Unruh said Buller was sick throughout the weekend, but battled hard.

Tina Stobbe, competing at No. 6, won her first-round match, but lost in the second round. In the match for third, Stobbe lost to Friends and finished fourth.

In doubles play, Klepper and Kunateava won the first round over Saint Mary at No. 1 doubles. In the second round, they beat Friends in three sets to qualified for finals. But Klepper and Kunateava lost the championship to Bethel 6-3, 6-4.

“I was really proud of them,” said Unruh. “They haven’t been together very long and for them to get all the way to the finals at No. 1 doubles, that’s a good accomplishment.”

The No. 2 doubles team, Isaac and Haynes, lost to Bethel in the first round. But the pair won the consolation bracket, finishing fifth.

Buller and Stobbe, playing No. 3 doubles, beat Saint Mary in the first round and Friends in the second round to move into the finals. There they lost to Bethany in a close match, finishing second overall.

Unruh was pleased with what his team was able to do this season, considering the obstacles placed they encountered.

“I don’t think we were ever healthy as a team the whole year.” he said. “So to finish third in such a stiff tournament and season, I think that’s pretty good for our girls.”

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