The Drake women’s tennis team took part in the University of Northern Iowa Invitational this past weekend at Byrnes Park in Waterloo, Iowa. The Bulldogs posted three impressive singles wins on Friday, the first day of competition, before Saturday’s inclement weather forced all 12 teams of the tournament into the Black Hawk Tennis Club in Waterloo, with only four courts available for play.
In singles play, sophomore Manca Krizman began Friday’s play by defeating Emily Rogers of Northern Illinois in straight sets. Krizman dominated her opponent, winning the first set 6-0 and then continuing the momentum to take the second set, 6-2.
“Manca played really smart,” said junior teammate Earlynn Lauer.
Lauer played convincing tennis herself, with another straight-set victory for the Bulldogs. After winning the first set in a close tiebreaker, she held the momentum for the rest of the match, posting a 6-0 score in the second set over her University of South Dakota opponent. Unfortunately, Missouri’s Maureen Modesto defeated Lauer in the next round, 6-1, 6-2.
Just like Krizman, senior Jessica Labarte faced off against a Northern Illinois opponent with similar results. Labarte defeated NIU’s Sarah McLaughlin 6-4, 6-4.
Labarte played UNI’s Jessica Kunzelmann in the next round, but lost 6-4, 6-3.
“I played well and it was a close match,” Labarte said. “It was a few key points here and there I needed to close on and I would have won.”
Drake juniors Amanda Aragon and Jessica Aguilera fell in their first matches of the tournament, with Aragon falling to Callie Ronkowski of North Dakota and Aguilera falling to Peta Forsyth of Minnesota.
Doubles did not run as smoothly for the Bulldogs, as Aragon and Labarte lost to Missouri, 8-2, and South Dakota, 8-4. Krizman and Aguilera teamed up to convincingly defeat the Minnesota duo of Forsyth and Kantar, 8-5.
“Our doubles still needs some work, but everyone seemed more confident in their singles play and definitely made fewer errors,” said junior Gabby Demos.
The team is looking forward to continually improving over the course of the tournament as it begins to find its own strides, and as the new head coach learns how to best coach his players.
The Times-Delphic will have more coverage from the UNI Invitational in the next issue.