The Drake women’s tennis team had two matches this past week, both at home in the Roger Knapp Center. First, the Bulldogs had their home opener against the University of South Dakota on Thursday, Jan. 27. Their second game was against Wichita State University on Saturday, Jan. 29.
The team got off to a quick start in the first match against South Dakota after capturing the doubles points. Seniors Liza Petushkova and Daria Walczak defeated Jana Lazarevic and Habiba Aly 7-5 at first doubles.
In third doubles, junior Rebecaa Ehn and sophomore Ines Stephani clinched the match with a close 7-6 win against Estella Jaeger and Anna Bukina. The second doubles match finished with sophomore Darinka Stepan and freshman Mille Haagensen losing a close set 7-5.
Heading into the singles matches with a 1-0 lead, Stephani helped the Bulldogs get another point with a quick 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles. Haagensen cruised through her first set winning it 6-1 and then pulled out a well-fought second set 7-6, capturing another point for the Bulldogs.
With the Bulldogs holding a 3-0 lead over the Coyotes, at fifth singles Stepan continued this trend winning her match 6-4, 6-2, getting the fourth point for the Bulldogs.
This contest was important because the first team to reach four total points wins the whole match.
“I think it was great that we were able to get another win,” Stephani said. “Last year we had a close match with South Dakota beating them 4-3 so it was nice to get a 4-0 win over them this year.”
The Bulldogs also had another quick start against Wichita State getting the doubles points.
Second doubles pair Stepan and Haagensen cruised through their match, getting a 6-0. The third doubles match with Ehn and Stephani also resulted in a quick 6-0 win.
The Bulldogs headed into the singles matches with a 1-0 lead. Stephani was the first Bulldog to finish her match, getting a 6-3, 6-3 win at singles two. At the fifth singles match, Stepan won her first set 7-5 and then won her second set 6-3, getting the third point for the Bulldogs.
At singles six, Ehn lost a close match 4-6, 3-6. Petushkova at first singles also lost her match in three sets.
Haagensen was able to get the last point for the Bulldogs after grinding through a three-set match. Haagensen won her first set 6-3 and lost a close 7-6 second set. She bounced back to win the third set 6-1 to clinch the match for Drake.
This is the first time in 13 years that Drake has beat Wichita State in a dual match.
“I think everyone did a great job this weekend,” said first-year Nicole Lee. “We came out with great energy and fought for every point. It was definitely a team effort to be able to win both matches this week. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The Bulldogs have another home match on Saturday, Feb. 5 against the University of Nebraska at Kearney that will be played at the Roger Knapp Center.