Touching base with Tennis

After their best regular season in program history, the Mavs’ women’s tennis team got back into the swing of things for their short fall season. 

In their first season under head coach Jeff Thomae, the Mavs went 15-2 before their season ended in the NSIC Tournament Championship, as they were swept 4-0 by Augustana. To end the year, the team was named #10 in the Central Region in the year end ITA rankings. 

However, the Mavs are undergoing some changes in coaching after Thomae left the team and was replaced by former assistant coach and player Tristen Bryant-Otake. Joining her as assistant coaches are Drew Hawthorne and Lois Page, who is also a former player.

Under Bryant-Otake, the Mavs return most of their key players from a season ago, including Freia Lawrence, Chiara Carnelutti and Avery Stilwell who were all named to All-NSIC teams.

The Mavs began their fall match slate with singles and doubles competition at the Augustana Invite at Huether Tennis Center on September 9 and 10. Three other schools joined the Mavs in Augustana, including the University of Mary, Sioux Falls and Augustana.

Some highlights from the Augustana Invite include:

Avery Stilwell defeated UMary’s Maria Estinvil in three sets (1-6, 6-2, 10-8).

Freia Lawrence defeated UMary’s Ilona Freitag (6-4, 1-6, 11-9).

Elizabeth Felderman defeated USF’s Sydney Osburn (6-1, 6-3).

Those three victories took place in the singles matches on day one. For the day one doubles…

Brynn Psooy and Georgia Deml were defeated 8-6 against Katelyn Nesheim and Emma Rangel of USF. 

Freia Lawrence and Avery Stilwell defeated Chloe Siegfort and Talia Janos of USF 8-4.

On day two, Lawrence, Deml and Stilwell won their singles matches and the duos of Deml/Psooy and Lawrence/Stillwell defeated two more duos from USF.

A week later, the Mavs took on the Gustavus Invite in the Swanson Tennis Center, where the Mavs play their home matches.

Lawrence won the draw 1 singles and Felderman came in second in the draw 2 singles. Meanwhile, Sutton Julsrud won the draw 5 singles and Taina Ternes came in right behind her in second place. Carnelutti and Felderman placed second in the draw 1 doubles on the day as well.

There is still plenty of time before the Mavs begin their spring season. Last season, the Mavs began in mid-February, but the schedule is still yet to be released for the 2023-24 season.

Header Photo: Although it is homecoming week, the Mavs will play their second game of the weekend on the road against Winona State before they return home the following weekend. (Photo courtesy Maverick Athletics)

Write to Hayden Lee at

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