UW-Whitewater will aim for a 12th consecutive first-place finish at the 2018 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Women's Tennis Championship (presented by Culver's) that will be conducted Oct. 20-21 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison. The 46th edition of the league championship will also decide three sets of doubles winners, along with six singles champions.
The Warhawks collected their conference-best 18th title in program archives a year ago with 21 overall points to top UW-Eau Claire's second-place total of 17 points. UW-La Crosse finished third with 16 points, UW-Oshkosh fourth with 12, UW-Stout fifth with nine, UW-Stevens Point sixth with five and UW-River Falls seventh with four. UW-La Crosse ranks second all-time with 15 WIAC championships, while UW-Eau Claire owns 12 first-place finishes.
This year's team title will be determined by using a combination of the regular-season dual-meet standings and the WIAC championship results. The finish in the regular-season standings accounts for one-third of the criteria, while the conference championship accounts for the remaining two-thirds.
Point distribution following the dual-meet rotation consists of: UW-Whitewater (6-0) (7 points); UW-Eau Claire (5-1) (6 points); UW-La Crosse (4-2) (5 points); UW-Oshkosh (3-3) (4 points); UW-River Falls (2-4) (3 points); UW-Stout (1-5) (2 points); and UW-Stevens Point (0-6) (1 point).
The initial day of competition at the conference event will consist of the first two rounds of doubles matches followed by the first round of singles matches. The second day of the championship will feature the final two rounds of singles matches followed by the last round of doubles matches.
The top four teams (following the conclusion of the WIAC championship) will advance to a team tournament that will determine the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III championship. The team tournament will be held at the site of the overall conference champion prior to the NCAA championship next spring.
Individually, UW-Whitewater brings back three title winners from last season. Paige Nierman won the No. 5 singles crown, while Sabrina Palavra claimed the No. 6 singles championship. Julie Martin was a member of the first-place No. 3 doubles team. Gabi Kitchell owns a pair of singles and doubles titles. In 2015, she secured the No. 2 singles championship and No. 3 doubles crown. In 2016, Kitchell again claimed the No. 2 singles title and helped the No. 1 doubles team to victory. Kitchell, who is 11-1 in singles matches, advanced to the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Regional Championship earlier this fall.
UW-La Crosse's Hayley Clope was a member of the winning No. 2 doubles squad at last season's championship.
UW-Eau Claire's Hanna Zevenbergen won the championship in her draw of the Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) Fall Invitational earlier this year.
The weekend will also feature the following top wins leaders from each school: UW-Eau Claire's Natalie Wijesinghe (10-2 singles); UW-La Crosse's Maura Andersen (11-3) and Shira Busch (11-2); UW-Oshkosh's Alyssa Leffler (8-3); UW-River Falls' Courtney Fenech (5-2); UW-Stevens Point's Angelica Hernandez (4-8); and UW-Stout's Gabe Kelch (4-5).