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Drake Women’s tennis completes fall season

This past weekend, Drake women’s tennis competed in their last fall tournament, the Bulldog Cup. The tournament was played at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center over the course of three days starting on Friday, Nov. 5.

On Friday, the Bulldogs started the day off with singles matches against the University of Northern Illinois. On Saturday, all of the tennis players went against Milwaukee, and on Sunday, they played against the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Senior Daria Walczak played two singles matches. She lost her first one on Friday after a close two-set match with a score of 6-2, 6-4. Walczak was able to win her second singles match with a close score of 7-5, 6-4 against Omaha’s Addison Miller.

Sophomore Ines Stephani played three singles matches over the course of the weekend, winning them all. Stephani won her first match 6-2, 6-1 on Friday and then won her second match on Saturday against Mayya Perova from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a score of 6-2, 6-3.  Stephani won her last match against Omaha’s Ines Absisan with a score of 6-1, 6-0.

“I think the team had a strong finish to our fall season this past Sunday after winning all nine matches,” Stephani said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what we’ll accomplish in the spring.”

Fellow sophomore Darinka Stepan was at the singles three position against Anastasia Rakita from Northern Illinois University and lost 6-4, 6-3. On Saturday, Stepan played in the singles three spot and got a 6-3, 6-3 win for the Bulldogs.

Senior Kelsey Neville competed in the singles four spot and lost 6-1, 6-2. On Sunday, Neville won her match 6-0, 6-0 against Omaha’s Justine Linscot. First-year Yana Gaskell lost her match at singles five against Milwaukee’s Anika Tylek 6-0, 6-0.

First-year Jyun-Yi Lee played in the five singles spot and lost after a close two-set battle. After losing the first set 6-1, Lee continued to fight in the second set. Lee fell short in the second set, losing 6-7, (6). Jyun-Yi Lee competed at the singles four position and lost 6-2, 6-2 to Iva Stejskalova from Milwaukee. Jyun-Yi Lee won her second match at singles four 6-0, 6-2 against Omaha’s Lillian Tiemeyer.

“I really enjoyed competing this weekend,” Lee said. “It was great to get a sneak peak at what a real dual match looks like.”

At the singles six position, junior Kendall Hunt lost her match 6-2, 6-0 to Northern Illinois’s Angelica Ross. On Saturday, Hunt competed against Milwaukee’s Giorgia Cavestro and won her match 6-0, 6-2.

First-year Mille Haagensen competed at singles two on Saturday and got the job done after a three-set match. Haagensen came back after losing the first set 6-7 (5) to win the second set 6-4. She then won the second set 6-1. She won her second match 6-0, 6-1 at the singles three position.

The Bulldogs won the singles six spot as a default due to an injury from Omaha.

The doubles format for the weekend was different from the usual dual format–this weekend the doubles were an eight-game pro-set.

On Friday at doubles one, senior Liza Petushkova and Haagensen lost 8-4 after a close battle against Milwaukee. At doubles two, Stephani and Walczak competed throughout the whole match. After being done 4-7, Stefani and Walczak brought it back to 7-7 but lost in the tiebreakers 8-7 (5). At doubles three, Hunt and Gaskell had a tough battle and fell short of a win with a score of 4-8.

Drake women’s tennis then took on Omaha in doubles on Saturday. At doubles one, Petushkova and Stephani secured the win in their match with a score of 8-5. At doubles two, Stepan and Haagensen lost 8-5. Walczaka and Lee got the job done during their doubles match, winning 8-3.

On Sunday, Nov. 7 the Bulldogs played Northern Illinois in doubles matches. Petushkova and Walczak won their match at doubles one 8-3. Stepan and Stephani won their match at doubles two 8-3. Haagensen and Neville also won their match 8-2 at doubles three.

The Bulldogs captured a total of 15 matches over the tournament. On their last day of competition for the fall season, the team got nine straight wins from everyone on the team. The women’s tennis spring season will begin in January. The Bulldogs will continue to train in preparation for the spring season.


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