Cassie Stanek scored the school-record 101st and 102nd triumphs of her career when Morningside advanced to Saturday’s championship match of the GPAC Post-Season Tournament.
Cassie Stanek, a senior from Sioux City, became the all-time winningest women’s tennis player in Morningside College history when she helped the Mustangs reach the championship match of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Tournament on Friday in Fremont, Neb.
Stanek was undefeated in her four matches on Friday to raise her career total to 102 combined singles and doubles victories when the Mustangs trounced Midland University 8-1 in the quarterfinals and edged Doane University 5-4 in the semifinals. Her 102 triumphs broke the former Morningside record of 100 combined victories set by Katie Hanson from 2012-16. Stanek, who broke the record in three seasons after playing at the University of Sioux Falls as a freshman, posted her record-breaking 101st victory when she combined with Ons Souissi for an 8-2 triumph in the No. 1 doubles flight against Doane. She had tied the previous Mustang standard of 100 career wins when she defeated Midland’s Annie Allmand 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles in the GPAC quarterfinals.
Friday’s two triumphs improved the Mustangs’ record to 15-3 for their most wins in school history. Morningside will face Hastings College, which defeated the Mustangs 5-4 during the regular season, in Saturday’s 10 a.m. championship match.
The Mustangs’ win against Doane in the semifinals came against a team that also defeated them by a 5-4 margin during the regular season. Souissi made the Mustangs a winner in the rematch when she outlasted Elle Bender 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 in the No. 2 singles match to break a 4-4 tie.
Morningside won four of the six singles matches against Doane to come back from a 2-1 deficit after the doubles competition. Aside from Souissi, the Mustangs’ other singles winners were Stanek with a 6-1, 6-4 triumph against Ashley Zaeske at No. 1, Natasha Hongsermeier with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory against Brianna Kempel at No. 3 and Abby Fitzgerald with a 6-4, 6-3 win against Jordan Buttermore at No. 5.
Stanek improved her season’s singles record to 18-5 to move within one win of her own Morningside record for singles victories in a season when she went 19-3 in 2014-15.
The Mustangs lost only eight games while sweeping the three doubles flights and never looked back in their 8-1 win against Midland.
Stanek had the Mustangs’ largest victory margin in the singles matches with her 6-2, 6-1 romp against Allmand. Hongsermeier, Fitzgerald and Kathryn Jones also won their singles matches in straight sets, while Souissi edged Whitney Schutt 6-0, 4-6, 10-8 at No. 2 singles.