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Drake splits matches with in-state rival Hawkeyes, Cyclones

Story by Austin Cannon

Photo by Joel Venzke

wtennis_joel-w2000-h2000The No. 72 Drake women’s tennis team split a pair of matches with in-state rivals Iowa and Iowa State this week, falling 4-3 to Iowa on Wednesday and beating Iowa State on Friday, 5-2.

After winning the doubles point, the Hawkeyes won the first three singles matches to claim victory.

The loss shattered a seven-match winning streak for the Bulldogs.

Morven McCulloch and Ruth Seaborne blanked Drake sophomores Mariel Ante and Lea Kozulic, 8-0, on court No. 1.

Sophomore Maddie Johnson and senior Klavdija Rebol were up 5-4 on Annette Dohanics and Shelby Talcott, but the Hawkeyes won four unanswered games to take the match, 8-5, and won the doubles point.

On court No. 2, junior Nell Boyd and sophomore Jordan Eggleston led the Iowa pair of Ellen Silver and Katie Zordani 7-1 before the match was called.

The Hawkeyes didn’t wait long to secure the win in singles play.

Seaborne dispatched Rebol, 6-1, 6-4, to extend the Iowa lead to 2-0.

Eggelston then fell to Dohanics, 6-2, 6-3, and Zordani beat Boyd, 6-2, 6-1, to clinch the match for Iowa.

The Bulldogs, however, were able to salvage some of the match.

Johnson took down Talcott, 6-4, 7-5, to earn the first point for the Bulldogs.

Ante grabbed the second point for Drake, beating McCulloch 7-6 (4), 6-4.

Kozulic was able to rally in the first set to force and win a tiebreaker and won the match, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Ante believed that match could’ve yielded different results.

“We could’ve had them,” Ante said.

The Bulldogs were able to get back in the winning column Friday in Ames.

After claiming the doubles point, Eggleston defeated Talisa Merchiers, 6-1, 6-4, to extend the Drake lead to 2-0.

Ante gave Drake a 3-1 lead after a hard-fought match with Samantha Budai. The first two sets were both decided via tiebreaker. Ante won the first 7-6 (4) and Budai took the second 7-6 (4).

Ante won the deciding set 6-3.

Johnson won the match for Drake, defeating Megan Cassens, 7-5, 6-4.

Boyd also grabbed a win for Drake, beating Ana Gasparovic, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

“We knew that we could beat them. We had that mentality where it’s like, ‘Guys, we can beat them. We’re better than last year,’” Ante said.

Drake, now 8-2, travels to Missouri on Sunday to take on the Tigers.

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