Story by Austin Cannon
Photo by Joel Venzke
Even facing a lesser team, the Bulldogs still had to show up and play.
“It’s tough when with a team like that, when the tennis level is a little bit different, D-I and D-III,” said Drake head coach Sadhaf Pervez. “You kind of have to stick to what you practice and stay focused.”
The Bulldogs dominated singles play, only surrendering seven games total.
Junior Nell Boyd put Drake up 2-0 by overpowering Aryn Eckstrom, 6-0, 6-0, in a matter of minutes.
Sophomore Maddie Johnson followed suit by dominating Sidney Dirks, also by the score of 6-0, 6-0.
The third shutout of the afternoon came on court No. 6 from sophomore Jordan Eggleston, who dismissed Annie Mahoney, 6-0, 6-0.
Sophomore Mariel Ante, who was moved to the No. 1 position, took down GA’s Michaela Schulz in decisive fashion, 6-0, 6-1, to win the match for the Bulldogs.
Despite the clear difference in ability, Ante brought the same intensity.
“She just played it like it was another match. She didn’t emphasize on the number,” Pervez said. “Same intensity, same play.”
The only remote threat the Gusties were able to provide was in the No. 2 singles match between Laurel Krebsbach and Drake senior Klavdija Rebol.
Down 3-1, Rebol was able to win the next four games to go up 5-3. The two exchanged the final two games as Rebol won it, 6-4.
The second set was hardly in doubt as Rebol raced out to a 5-0 lead and won 6-1.
Sophomore Lea Kozulic ensured the sweep for the Bulldogs by making short work of Lizzy Stanczyk, 6-1, 6-0.
Drake only took a little over half an hour to clinch the doubles point.
Ante and Eggleston grabbed the early advantage for Drake by outclassing Stanczyk and Calleigh Carlson, 8-1.
Boyd and Rebol dropped Dirks and Mahoney like they were a hot plate coming out of the microwave, 8-1, to win the doubles point.
Johnson and Kozulic were up 3-1 on Krebsbach and Schulz 3-1, but the match was halted since the doubles point had already been decided.
“I think three matches is great, but we are going to have a lot tougher teams coming up,” Pervez said.
Those tougher teams include Creighton, Wisconsin, Colorado State, Iowa and Iowa State, who are Drake’s next five matchups.
The Bulldogs host former Valley rival Creighton on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.