Ashland University women's tennis needed to beat Davenport on Saturday (Oct. 21) in order to keep its season alive.
The Eagles won, 5-4.
Now, AU must win matches to claim its prowess as a team at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at the Greater Midland Tennis Center in Midland, Mich.
In their first GLIAC Tournament appearance since 2013, the No. 8-seeded Eagles (5-7 overall, 3-7 GLIAC) are slated to face No. 1 Grand Valley State (10-0, 10-0) in the quarterfinal on Friday (Oct. 27) at 6:45 p.m.
"No matter how the weekend goes," freshman Sofie Garpered said, "we have still improved a lot this fall. That won't change."
Ashland has won five matches this fall. From 2014 to 2016, the Eagles won just two fall matches.
No one on AU's current roster has competed in the GLIAC Tournament before, including lone senior Elizabeth Kidd.
"It has been awesome seeing our program take strides in the right direction this year," Kidd said. "Hopefully we can use the exciting atmosphere to bring a lot of energy and confidence to the courts this weekend."
Entering the tournament, sophomore Allison Brooks leads the Eagles with seven singles wins, having played primarily in the fifth and sixth positions. Freshman Hazuki Ogino's five doubles wins out of all three slots is a team-high. And Brooks is tied with freshman Anna Hart with nine wins overall.
Through both the fall and spring seasons of 2016-17, current sophomore Brianna Brdicka led the team with eight overall wins and five singles wins. Meghann Fitzpatrick, a senior last year, led AU with four doubles wins.
"It has been a true joy working with the girls and growing together this fall," second-year head coach Lexi Bolesky said. "Still having the opportunity to compete and fight for a championship is a huge accomplishment, and we are excited for the challenge."