Securing the Second Seed

After sweeping Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston this weekend, the Mavs women’s tennis team has officially finished their regular season. 

With a 13-1 record, this Mavs team is looking forward to big things in the NSIC Tournament. Speaking of NSIC opponents, the Mavs’ 10 wins in in-conference play are the most in a season since joining the NSIC in 2009.

The Mavs have earned the no. 2 seed in the upcoming NSIC Tournament and will face the Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs Friday, April 21. 

Before they were locked into the two seed, the Mavs traveled to Bemidji to close out their regular season, starting with a matchup against the Beavers. 

There was one hiccup for the Mavs this weekend, as the courts at Bemidji State are made of a rubberized multi-purpose surface, very different from that of which the Mavs are used to. 

“It really forced us to focus on footwork and getting in the right position for our shots,” said head coach Jeff Thomae. “Definitely took some getting used to.”

However, you would never have been able to tell that the Mavs were thrown off. 

Extending their win streak to double digits, the Mavs began the afternoon sweeping the doubles matches, beginning with senior Lois Page and sophomore Avery Stillwell. They earned a 6-0 win in the no. 1 doubles match, setting the tone for the rest of the day. Senior Chiara Carnelutti and sophomore Freia Lawrence were up next, and they took care of business in another 6-0 win. Sophomore Elizabeth Felderman and freshman McKenna DeMarce weren’t able to shut out the no. 3 Beavers duo, but they still won 6-2.

In order for a sweep to work, a team must win all available points. The Mavs did just that, winning all six of the singles matches. 

Page took down Nicoleta Anestiadi in the no. 1 singles match, 6-1 and 6-3. Stilwell handled the no. 2 singles, 6-1 and 6-4 while DeMarce was able to win 6-3 and 6-1 in the no. 3 singles. Felderman cruised to victory in the no. 4 singles, ghosting Isabella Nelson 6-0 and 6-0. Freshman Georgia Deml saw some action in the no. 5 singles match, winning 6-1 and 6-0. Another freshman, Taina Cordiero, dominated the no. 6 singles 6-0 and 6-0.

“I was very happy with the performances of some Mavs who were given the nod to play singles in the Top 6,” Thomae said, regarding the play of Deml, Cordiero, and sophomore Hana Minisy. 

Picking up two wins in a week is always great, but the Mavs still had one more match to look forward to: Minnesota Crookston.

Beginning, as always, with doubles, the Mavs took all three matches to secure the first point of the day. Page and Stillwell won the no. 1 doubles match 6-1, Carnelutti and Lawrence won 6-0 in the no. 2 doubles and freshman Daria Podmogilnaia and Minisy won 6-2 in the no. 3 doubles. 

To complete the sweep, the Mavs went on to win all six singles matches. 

Lawrence was the only Mav to drop a set, which she did in her first one of the morning, 4-6. Fortunately for the Mavs, she rebounded to win 7-5 and 1-0 in her next two sets, winning the no. 1 singles match. Carnelutti battled for the no. 2 singles match, winning 6-3 and 6-1. Podmogilnaia won easily in the no. 3 match, 6-1 and 6-0 and DeMarce won 6-3 and 6-2 in the no. 4 singles match. Minisy won in the no. 5 singles, 6-2 and 6-4, while sophomore Brynn Psooy won 6-4 and 7-5 in the no. 6 singles. 

After completing one of, if not the greatest season in Mavs women’s tennis history, the Mavs will take their talents to Sioux Falls to begin their run at the NSIC title. 

As predicted in the pre-season NSIC Coaches’ Poll, MSU came in second after dual match play, behind only Augustana, who gave the Mavs their only loss of the season. While the Mavs have their sights set on the championship game, they still have to face SMSU, and if they win that match, the winner of #3 University of Mary and #6 St. Cloud State University.

“While we’re hungry to have the chance to face Augustana, we take nothing for granted,” Thomae said.

Friday’s match in Sioux Falls, South Dakota begins at 9 a.m. at Huether Family Match Pointe.

Write to Hayden Lee at

Header Photo: The Minnesota State’s Women’s Tennis team concludes their regular season with a 7-0 win against Bemidji State Friday and 7-0 win against Minnesota Crookston Saturday. (Courtesy MSU Athletics)

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