Celine Rongos prepares to ace a serve against Bethel College. Rongos defeated Bethel's number one doubles with partner Morgan Bemisderfer 8-1 as well as remaining undefeated in singles play.
Celine Rongos prepares to ace a serve against Bethel College. Rongos defeated Bethel’s number one doubles with partner Morgan Bemisderfer 8-1. (Photo by Jac Rhine)

The six-squad of Forester young bloods dominated Klopfenstein Courts earning their third straight win and 6-3 conference victory over Bethel College Sept. 17.

Sophomores Morgan Bemisderfer and Celine Rongos led the team at first doubles. The two make a sweet yet sassy, confident pair. The duo defeated Bethel opponents Bethany Blodgett and Madison Madewell in a decisive 8-1 set.

Rongos shared that the duo’s display of excellence is not from mere talent alone. Rather, it is the result of hard effort and discipline paying off.

“We mesh very well together,” Rongos said. “Both of us worked hard in the offseason and the summer. We just wanted to keep getting better and better every day. We both put in the time and effort to excel this year.”

Meanwhile, Erin Van Kampen and Constanze Golz worked their way to an 8-4 win over opponents Taryn Johnson and Samantha Lukas. Third doubles Kerrie Ecker and Amanda Brothers conquered the see-saw match with an 8-6 decision.

With a 3-0 cushion going in, singles saw a split decision with HU winning the first three match ups while Bethel stole the last trio of matches. Bemisderfer forced Blodgett to a super tiebreaker at first singles, edging out the third set win, (6-2), (4-6), (10-7). Rongos eased her way into the second singles win against Madewell (6-0), (6-2). Meanwhile, Golz shut down Bethel’s Johnson, dominating (6-0), (6-0) games to win the set.

Bemisderfer copes with the pressure placed on her top seed position, seeing it rather as an opportunity of leadership and representing her school.

“There is a lot of pressure because you are supposedly expected to win all your matches, not just from the team but the whole school expects you to win,” she said. “And there is, of course, pressure that I put on myself. I know what I’m capable of, and when I don’t play to that level, I get pretty frustrated. I’m really excited that I get to represent our school and the team and lead in that way though.”

The Foresters’ top three singles are something to take note of, head coach Roger Ferguson informs.

“As of yesterday’s match, in conference play Constanze (Golz) is undefeated in singles,” Ferguson said. “Celine (Rongos) is undefeated in singles and Morgan (Bemisderfer) has one conference loss.”

Putting the Pilots on the board with definitive wins were Lukas, Alaina Donegan, and Megan Reed. Lukas defeated Van Kampen (6-2), (6-1). Donegan bested Ecker (6-3), (6-2) with Reed topping Brothers (6-3), (6-1).

Although suffering the loss of talented lone senior Cassandra Kasicki with an injury early in the season, the team has not let that deter them from finding success. Edging out Grace College for their first conference win early on in the season, the Foresters topped Goshen College as well. After Wednesday’s victory, the team improved its Crossroads League standing to 3-2. Currently the fourth seed, the team will need to maintain its momentum against second seed Indiana Wesleyan University on Thursday to keep progressing.

Ferguson believes the improvement by the women shows their intentions to meet this year’s goals– one of which is doing well in the conference tournament after achieving an improved standing.

“We set a few team goals before the season and are on track to accomplish those,” he said. “The win against Bethel keeps us on track to improve our tournament seeding. Anytime you can beat a conference opponent, it helps you in the conference standings and gives your team more confidence if you face that team again in the season ending tournament.”