The VCSU Viking Club Tennis team finished second at the USTA Northern Section Tennis On Campus Championships held at the Eau Claire (Wis.) YMCA over the weekend of Feb. 23-24. VCSU’s second-place finish secured the team entry into the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championships to be held April 11-13 in Surprise, Ariz.
The team for the section championships included seniors Dustin Miller and Clarissa Olson, junior Dalton Ondracek, and sophomore Caitlyn Hunter.
The Vikings entered the 14-team tournament as the No. 3 seed overall. With victories over Winona State University (24-10) and Carleton College B squad (30-6) in pool play on Saturday, VCSU earned the No. 2 seed for championship bracket play on Sunday.
Sunday’s play brought a victory over the Gustavus Adolphus College A squad (27-10), which put VCSU into the semifinals against the University of Minnesota B squad. The Vikings won that match 26-21, putting them into the section championship match and securing a bid to the national tournament along with their best finish ever at sectionals.
VCSU dropped the finals match to the No. 1 seed University of Minnesota A squad 26-12.
Club advisor and coach Erik Kringlie expressed his pride in his squad’s accomplishments at sectionals. “I cannot say enough about these four athletes and their play this weekend,” said Kringlie. “They have worked hard all winter to get ready for this championship and left everything they had on the court and set a higher bar for feature Viking tennis teams.”
Clarissa Olson was voted Northern Section Co-Leader of the Year along with Emily Logan of Gustavus.
The Vikings now begin preparation for the 64-team national championships in Arizona. Follow them on social media at www.facebook.com/groups/vikingclubtennis