Thrilling comeback gets Omaha Women’s Tennis off to best-ever start in Division 1


Jack Hoover

Omaha’s Natalie Lorentz, who picked up an important win against Northern Illinois. Photo courtesy of Mark Kuhlmann/Omaha Athletics.

Never before in the Division 1 era has the Omaha women’s tennis team started off their season with a record of 5-1.

After six games in the 2020 season, however, that’s exactly where the Mavericks find themselves.

The historic start to the season was assured on Feb. 9 when Omaha took on Northern Illinois at home at the Miracle Hills Tennis Center. Both teams came into the matchup playing well to start the season. At the time, Northern Illinois had a record of 4-2, with wins coming against the likes of Green Bay, Milwaukee and Eastern Illinois University.

The Mavericks came into the matchup in equally good shape. Both teams knew that it would be challenging contest as each tried to pick up their fifth win of the season.

The match proved to be as difficult as expected, as the two teams battled back and forth in order to try to take the victory.

With Northern Illinois picking up the point in the doubles competition and with two singles wins, Omaha needed to pull a comeback from 3-1 down, a feat that would have been borderline-miraculous.

But, as it turned out, the Mavericks got their miracle: sophomore Ines Absisan picked up a win in the No. 2 singles; junior Natalie Lorentz got a win in No. 3 singles; and junior Savanna Crowell sealed the deal as she won her No. 5 singles match in three sets.

In dramatic fashion, the Mavericks came back and won their fifth game of the year. Head coach Adam Summit said after the match up that he gave the credit for the incredible turnaround and start to the season to the girls.

“They showed grit and toughness,” Summit said. “When things didn’t go their way, they just kept believing in one another and played for each other. This is a special group and they’re going to do great things.”

The Mavericks seem destined for big things this year if they keep playing up to the potential they’ve shown in the early part of the season. The team will know, however, that the early season success doesn’t matter much if they can’t keep it going into Summit League play. In the preseason coaches poll, the Mavericks were picked to finish fifth, second from last.

Omaha will be looking to improve on that pre-season ranking, and already the team is starting to receive recognition from the rest of the conference, as Lorentz and junior Madison Gallegos were both named the Summit League tennis athletes of the week this season.

Omaha will open Summit League play on Mar. 28, taking on Western Illinois at home.