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Women’s Tennis Begins New Season

Photo Courtesy of Drake Athletics

Drake women’s tennis arrived on campus Jan. 15, 2020, to start training for their season. This past weekend women’s tennis competed in another home match against South Dakota. Prior to this match Drake women’s tennis record was 0-1 and South Dakota’s was 1-1. 

The Bulldogs had a quick start to the match after winning all three doubles matches. Seniors Liza Petushkova and Maria Tatarnikova played doubles one and won 6-4. “I am super happy about the way that the team played this weekend. It was a great feeling to be able to clinch the doubles point,” Petushkova said.

At doubles, two Senior Megan Webb and Junior Kelsey Neveil got the job done with a score of 6-3. Freshman Ines Stephani and her partner took the court for the first time at doubles three and got a win under their belt with a 6-4 win. 

The Bulldogs went into singles with a 1-0 lead. Stephani was the first singles match to get a point for the Bulldogs after winning her match 6-4,6-0 at fourth singles. Junior Daria Walczak, second singles, won her match to bring home a point for the Bulldogs. At third singles Walczak won her match 6-3, 6-2. 

“It was great to be able to compete for the first time and be able to play both doubles and singles,” Stephani said. “I loved the team atmosphere throughout the whole match. Being able to win both of my matches on Saturday as well as winning as a team was amazing.” 

Stephani was not the only one excited for a chance to compete again.

“I really enjoyed the chance to be able to play again, since our season last semester got cut short due to COVID,” Walczak said. “ It was also great to be able to get a win at home.”

Women’s tennis is not allowed spectators during their home matches. There is a livestream available for fans to watch, but Neveil feels that it just isn’t the same. 

“I really enjoyed competing again this weekend and winning, although the atmosphere was a little different,” Neveil said. “I enjoyed having fans there before, because there was a different kind of energy during the matches. Not having fans now is something different that we have to get used to. I understand that Drake is trying to keep us safe while competing, so we have the opportunity to have a season. Can’t wait for the chance when we are able to have fans again!” 

Not having fans was not the only adjustment that women’s tennis had for their matches now because of COVID. Once they are done competing, players are no longer allowed to stay on the courts to cheer on their teammates–they have to go to the bleachers above the courts.

The next home match for Women’s Tennis will be on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. against Colorado State. Check out @drakewtennis for match updates.

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