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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Women’s tennis sneaks past Valparaiso

NIU Athletics
Junior Reagan Welch prepares for a strike at the Nelson Tennis Center at Chick Evans Field House. Welch won her singles match against Valparaiso University sophomore Elizabeth Sobieski Saturday, as well as her doubles match with senior Anastasia Rakita. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

NIU women’s tennis slid past Valparaiso University (7-5) in a 4-3 win and improved to a 7-5 record on the season on Saturday.

The Huskies fought in both singles and doubles en route to the victory, and wins in both were crucial. 

Senior Diana Lukyanova and sophomore Isabella Righi defeated Valpo freshmen Jolene Fernandes and senior Mia Bertino in a 6-3 set. Winning 6-2, NIU senior Anastasia Rakita and junior Reagan Welch bested sophomore duo Sydney Stone and Elizabeth Sobieski. 

In NIU’s only doubles loss, junior Erika Dimitriev and sophomore Nataly Ninova lost to fifth year Olivia Czerwonka and sophomore Moira Silva, 6-4. 

NIU split singles matches, with three singles victories pushing the Huskies to the win. 

Dimitriev was defeated in 6-1, 6-2 sets by Silva, while Lukyanova suffered 6-4 losses in two straight sets to Czerwonka. Sophomore Jenna Horne also lost her match 6-2, 7-5 to Stone. 

In dominant sets, Ninova defeated Bertino in 6-0, 6-2 sets. Welch was also victorious, winning 6-1, 6-3 sets against Sobieski. 

Earning the win the Huskies needed to secure the victory, Righi defeated Fernandes in a three set tiebreak. After losing the first set 2-6, Righi came back and won the second set 6-3, leading to a 7-6 (7-5) tiebreaker for the win.

“This match was quite a battle as it typically is with Valpo,” head coach Eric Burns said via an NIU Athletics press release. “They fight like crazy every time we play them, so I am really proud of our effort today. The doubles really set the tone in this match and got us off to the start we needed. But even with the doubles it was a battle to get three singles wins. Overall, it was a great team win.”

NIU women’s tennis returns home at 4 p.m. on Friday at the Nelson Tennis Center at the Chick Evans Field House against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. A live stream will be available via Track Tennis.

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