STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
In a busy weekend for the Women’s Tennis team, the Bulldogs split up for some fall competition in preparation for the upcoming spring season.
Incoming freshman Kenya Williams, senior Maddie Johnson and sophomore Adrienne Jensen all travelled Iowa City for the Iowa Shootout to face off with in-state, Big 10 rivals University of Iowa.
Jensen, who went 31-11 in her freshman campaign last season, led the Bulldogs with three wins against three different Iowa players.
“It was great competition, everyone fought really hard and it was great getting that experience,” Johnson said. “Iowa is huge competition for us so it’s great … for us to get some confidence in knowing that we can beat Big 10 schools.”
Roger Knapp Invite
Back in Des Moines, Drake held the Roger Knapp Invite, hosting nearly 100 players from 12 different schools.
Splitting the team up may not have been preferable, but head coach Sadhaf Pervez stuck to her belief in the importance of competition.
“We’re just trying to get matches in,” Pervez said.
In a single-elimination tournament, Drake senior Mariel Ante won her first two matches in the “A” level bracket, before losing to Northern Colorado’s Lea Krajcovicoua in the semi-finals.
Ante would go on to place fourth overall in the tourney. Krajcovicoua lost in the finals, taking second.
Sophomore Melania Jaglarz, who played in just one dual match and 14 tour matches last season, defeated Breanna Heichert of Upper Iowa University 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the second round of the “D” level tourney on Friday.
Jaglarz followed that up with another straight set victory to advance to the quarterfinals of the 32-player bracket before losing to Michelle Erasmus of Northern Iowa University, who went on to take fourth overall.
Ante and Jaglarz also teamed up for the doubles tournament, even though they had never competed together before in doubles.
They managed to advance to the second round before losing 6-3 to a duo from South Dakota University.
Injuries and Honors
Not only were the Bulldogs busy last weekend, but they also received some encouraging news over the summer.
Sophomore Tess Herder and senior Jordan Eggleston were selected to the All-American prequalifying tournament for doubles, which will be taking place next month
“(It’s) awesome because only a selected few get to get in,” Pervez said.
However, they were not able to participate as Eggleston recently injured her back and will be unable to compete indefinitely.
This wasn’t the only issue the Bulldogs ran into medically. Senior Lea Kozulic is injured as well, although the extent of which is still unclear.
This leaves the Bulldogs with just six active players as the regular season slowly approaches, leaving both coach and team nervous as exhibitions continue.
Despite their nerves, one player at least is confident about the year ahead.
“I think this year we’re trying to get better each day,” Johnson said. “(We need) to take it one day at a time, having goals for ourselves and to not look so far in the future.”