Mule logo  
Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

 March 31  | April 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30 | May 1
 

Men’s golf, women’s lacrosse

Women’s tennis shows depth
in playoff-clinching win over Dickinson

When she woke up this morning, freshman Lauren Zakheim of the Muhlenberg women’s tennis team had planned on spending her evening at tutoring sessions for her French and psychology classes.

But after learning that the Mules' No. 1 player was out of the lineup because of sickness, Zakheim had to delay her sessions until 10:30 p.m. so she could step in to play at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles against Dickinson.

Lindsay Schmidt
With her two wins against Dickinson, Schmidt became the fourth Mule to surpass the 80-win plateau this season. She has won 81 combined singles and doubles matches during her career.
And just about the time she expected to be practicing French conjugations, Zakheim was putting the finishing touches on a 6-2, 6-0 win that clinched the match for the Mules. Muhlenberg added one more victory win in the final match of the night to oust the Red Devils, 6-3.

But Zakheim’s win did more than just clinch the match, it also clinched the Mules a spot in the Centennial Conference playoffs. Muhlenberg, which is currently in fourth place in the conference, will play next Wednesday in the first round match. If the Mules stay as the fourth seed they will host the fifth seed; if they drop to the fifth seed they will play at the home of the fourth seed.

“I knew it was coming down to one of the last two matches,” Zakheim said. “I was a little nervous, but now I’m just excited I was able to get the win to clinch the match. Moving my tutoring was definitely worth it.”

Zakheim’s match capped off a day in which the Mules, also without the services of their No. 1 doubles team, started slow and entered singles play in a 2-1 hole.

But with each player trying to make up for loss of senior Caitie Druker, the Mules, much like they did against playoff contender Haverford two weeks ago, took care of business in the singles matches.

Senior Sara Sutker, normally Muhlenberg's second player, got the momentum started with a straight-sets win at No. 1 singles.

Then freshman Nina Sanders, playing at No. 2 for just the second time in her career, fell behind early and dropped the first set, 6-1. But she battled back to force a third set supertiebreaker and then used an emphatic smash to cap her comeback and give the Mules a 3-2 edge.

“I think everyone felt some added pressure because they had to move up a spot,” Sutker said. “It would’ve been a little easier had Caitie been here, but we were able to pull it out. It felt really good to get such an important win without our best player.”

Freshman Emily Szulman only dropped two games as she breezed through No. 5 singles, while senior Lindsay Schmidt, playing in the last match on the court, closed out the Mule victory in style with an overhand slam to win in a third set supertiebreaker at No. 4 singles.

Schmidt also teamed with senior Danielle Winston to pick up Muhlenberg’s lone doubles win.

Muhlenberg will return to the playoffs for the third time in the past four years. It will also be the third trip for each of the four seniors. And according to Sutker, she couldn’t think of a better way to close out her career.

“It feels really good to get back to the playoffs,” Sutker said. “It felt weird when we didn’t make them last year, so we’re really glad to be back. Hopefully we'll be able to play as well as we did today and have some success.”
Click here for box score.

Muhlenberg® Collegeempty2400 Chew St.emptyAllentown, PA 18104-5586empty484.664.3100empty484.664.3623  (TTY)