After closing out the regular season this past weekend on the road against Wichita State and Creighton, only the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament remains for the Drake women’s tennis team. After an extremely successful spring season for the ladies, which included a win streak of 10 matches in a row, there is a feeling of satisfaction heading into the tournament.
“Honestly, this season has gone even better than I expected and as well as I hoped,” senior Gabriela Demos said. “Besides our loss to SIU last Saturday, we have beaten every team we should have and even some I was not expecting. We have also bonded better than ever before and I think everyone is having a lot of fun playing, which I haven’t seen in a while.”
The Bulldogs reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1992 and headed into the last weekend of the regular season with an impressive 20-5 mark.
The MVC tournament will take place in Omaha from April 27 to April 29. However, the Bulldogs are still unsure of who they will play in the first round. Drake held the top spot in the MVC for most of the season until a recent loss to Southern Illinois dropped the squad to second place, and they will likely remain there.
No matter who the Bulldogs face, they know they will have their hands full.
“All of the pieces are there for this weekend’s matches and beyond,” said head coach Paul Thomson. “Again it’s a matter of the team playing our tennis, our way, the Bulldog way. If we all show up on the same day ready to go we’ll be a tough team to deal with.”
Drake has been unable to make it out of the first round in the MVC tournament in each of the last three seasons, but this year’s team is much improved.
The team is getting better play out of improved veterans like Demos, seniors Jessica Aguilera and Amanda Aragon and junior Manca Krizman, as well as the addition of rising star freshman Nell Boyd.
“We have worked extremely hard this year and everyone has stepped up at one point or another,” Boyd said. “Just being focused and playing our hardest will make us be successful.”