The Drake women’s tennis team made up for losses in doubles play with a strong showing in singles, with four players posting straight-set victories over their opponents last Friday at the Missouri Valley Conference Individuals Tournament in Normal, Ill.
Five Bulldogs advanced to the semifinal rounds of their flights in singles. Junior Amanda Aragon posted the most convincing win, taking out Bradley’s Meredith McDonagh, 6-0, 6-0. Senior Jessica Labarte defeated UNI’s Chelsea Moore with a powerful 6-2, 7-5 victory. Drake’s No. 1 singles player, sophomore Manca Krizman, battled it out against Melanie Delsart of Southern Illinois in the second set after winning the first set, 6-3. The set went to a tiebreaker before Krizman won 10-8. Junior Jessica Aguilera won over Bradley’s Kennedy Scott by default. Junior Earlynn Lauer received a bye to advance to the next round. Junior Gabby Demos was the only Bulldog to lose in singles, falling to UNI’s Laia Gonzalez and Bradley’s Sarah Rodefeld.
“I think this weekend we played solid singles, but we need to get more consistent in our doubles,” Krizman said.
Aguilera then had her semifinal match on Saturday. The junior advanced to the finals with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Illinois State’s Hannah Esker. Aragon, Krizman and Lauer all dropped their matches in the semifinals, but all earned third-place finishes. Krizman defeated Kate Chybowski of Evansville, 6-1, 4-6, 11-9. Lauer won a 7-6, 2-6, 10-8 decision over Creighton’s Leesa Cadwallader.
“I think after a winter of hard practice and conditioning, we’ll be a tough team to beat in the conference, and maybe win the whole thing,” Demos said. “We have so much potential, we just need to realize it and live up to it, which is something that I know (Head) Coach (Paul) Thomson can help us do.”
Aguilera competed in the No. 4 finals match on Sunday. Details from that match will be available in Thursday’s issue of The Times-Delphic.