UND's record-setting class takes one last shot at Summit League tournament

Apr. 18—GRAND FORKS — When Tom Boysen came to UND to be the head tennis coach in the summer of 2021, he noticed the women's team had a pretty good foundation.

He specifically took note of this year's senior class — Sapir Sela, Andrea Jansson and Charlotte Bowles.

"That's a Tom Wynne and Kyle (Anderson) recruiting class," he said. "What they did is put this program into a place where we've never been before. The program had been trending up, for sure, but they got us to a place where there are expectations — and a realization of expectations."

Jansson and Sela both blew past the program's Division-I record-holder for wins.

It previously was Preethi Kasilingam with 103.

Jansson is now at 132. Sela is at 115.

The team reached the Summit League championship last season. Sela and Jansson won a key doubles match, while a new member of the class — transfer Nyah Kauders — earned a victory at No. 1 singles to get them there.

That group, now seniors, will have one last shot to make their mark on the UND tennis program this weekend.

The Fighting Hawks have qualified for the Summit League tournament as the No. 3 seed. They will take on No. 2 seed South Dakota in the semifinals at noon Friday in suburban Des Moines, Iowa.

UND lost to South Dakota 6-1 a week ago, but Lucia Rizza didn't play in that dual.

Two days after the South Dakota loss, UND staged a rally to beat St. Thomas 5-2 thanks to three-set wins by Jansson, Rizza and all-Summit League selection Nore Heinitz. All three lost the first set before rallying in sets two and three.

"It's been a scary group when they have something to prove," Boysen said. "That's where they're dangerous. If we can make South Dakota nervous, if we can keep it interesting long enough and create doubt in their minds, that's where this group has been really good. We've been pretty darn good at finding ways to win."

That's been especially true for the senior class.

Boysen said their legacy will be beyond the success on the court.

"What they probably left as a legacy was being maybe the best tennis team UND has had, while winning the community service award, having the highest GPA the women's team ever had," Boysen said. "It was a trifecta of doing it on the court, in the classroom and in the community that's going to make them stand out."

Where: Waukee Northwest High School, Waukee, Iowa.

Friday's semifinals: No. 1 Denver vs. No. 4 Oral Roberts, 9 a.m., No. 3 UND vs. No. 2 South Dakota, noon.

Saturday's final: Semifinal winners, 10 a.m.