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Blugold Hall of Fame
Molly Cope (Breunig)

Molly Cope Breunig has all the credentials to be considered the most outstanding women’s tennis player in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history.

Breunig, who like Beckman is one of the four Blugold players to be named to the 12-member WIAC All-Centennial team, is the only player in conference history to win four consecutive No. 1 singles titles.  She also is one of just four women’s tennis players in conference history to earn All-American honors, doing that in both 1999 and 2001.  She qualified for the NCAA individual tournament all four years as a Blugold and amassed a 97-21 career mark in singles play.  As a senior, she won the Midwest Regional Qualifying Rolex tournament and lost in the finals of the National Rolex Small College Championships that year.

Coming out of Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Breunig took the conference by storm, moving into the No. 1 spot as she bumped the previous No. 1 singles player Coralie Lockner who had bumped the previous two-time No. 1 singles player Kady Hickman, both of whom were Blugolds as well.  Breunig finished her freshman season with a 23-3 singles mark and was named the Midwest Region Rookie of the Year.

With Breunig leading the charge, the Blugolds won four conference team championships and qualified for the school’s first two NCAA appearances in 2000 and 2001.

Breunig also competed in doubles, compiling an 81-28 record including a conference No. 1 doubles championship with Beckman in 1998.  She also lettered as a member of Lisa Stone’s Blugold basketball team in 1997-98 before dropping out of that sport to concentrate on tennis.

An outstanding student as an exercise management major, Breunig was co-winner of the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete award for tennis as a senior and also was selected as a Blugold Super Six recipient.

Following her graduation, Breunig spent five years as a project manager for Tradition Development and since 2008 has been a part-time independent contractor, working for a real estate development company on the financial side.  She took care of her niece Emily for two years and now is a stay-at-home mom with three daughters of her own:  Mae, 6; Eve, who will be four in October and Olive who was born March 3 this year.  Her husband Nathan, formerly a buyer for Target in Minneapolis, owns his own marketing company.

Breunig has continued to be a competitive athlete following her graduation.  She has completed the Twin Cities and Grandma’s marathons.  She won a national Mother-Daughter tennis tournament with her mom Cathy.  She has played on numerous USTA tennis teams, qualifying and competing at national tournaments in both the women’s and mixed divisions.  She plays on a World Team Tennis team, which has qualified for national tournament competition twice.

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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Athletics • McPhee 208 • Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

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