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Drake Women’s Tennis finds success at Missouri Valley Conference

Darinka Stepan

Drake women’s tennis traveled to Springfield, Missouri this past weekend to compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. 

Each of the players were put into a bracket based on the specific position they played. The team had seven players competing in singles and three doubles teams. 

The Bulldogs placed in almost all of the brackets they participated in. Starting with number one doubles, Drake women’s tennis got second place after a hard-fought battle against the University of Illinois Chicago. 

Ines Stephani and Rebecca Ehn were the top-placed doubles team for Drake at the tournament. The pair started off the tournament with an 8-7 win against the University of Northern Iowa. Following that win, they took down Bradley’s number one doubles team.

The second highest-ranked doubles two for Drake was Mille Haagensen and Darinka Stepan. The two won their flight after taking down Murray State 8-6 in the finals. 

Stepan and Haagensen also won the doubles two flights the previous year, making this a back-to-back title win for the doubles pair. 

Haagensen spoke on being able to secure back-to-back titles following the big tournament win.

“It was great to be able to win the title again this year. The tournament was a little more competitive this year since there was an addition of three new teams to the conference who played in this event.”

The duo took down Belmont University 8-7 in the first round, followed by their advancement to beat UIC 8-6 in the second round of the tournament, allowing them to get to the finals. They proceeded to win the finals match of the bracket.

Haagensen was in the singles two flight, and after losing the first round in the main draw, she fought her way to the finals of the back draw. Haagensen took down UIC in the first round of the back draw in a straight-set win. 

Singles four was first-year Elizabete Klavinska, who got third place in her draw. Klavinska won her first round against Belmont. 

Singles five for Drake was Rebecca Ehn, who won her draw after fighting through two hard first-round three-set matches. Ehn first took down Bradley University, followed by a win over the University of Illinois and finally a win over Murray State in the finals of her bracket. 

Oriana Parkins-Godwin at six singles, got fourth place for the Bulldogs. 

Finally, Nicole Lee got third place for the Bulldogs in the singles seven flight. 

Parkins-Godwin shared her thoughts on her first collegiate tournament following the competition.

“It was really fun to be competing with the team this weekend,” Parkins-Godwin said. “I was able to get my first college win which was a great feeling to be able to contribute to the team. Definitely, after this weekend, I am looking forward to competing in more matches throughout my four years here at Drake with this team.”

In the end, the Bulldogs were able to get two first-place finishes at the MVC tournament. 

The next tournament that the team will compete in is the regionals, which will be held in Salt Water, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University will host the ITA regional tournament.

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