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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Women’s tennis takes down undefeated Whitewater

NIU Athletics
Junior Reagan Welch pursues a shot to her right in a doubles match at the Nelson Tennis Center at Chick Evans Field House. Welch won her singles match 6-2, 6-0 and her doubles match with sophomore Jenna Horne 6-0 as women’s tennis defeated University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 6-1 Friday. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

NIU women’s tennis improved to 8-5 while handing the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks (6-1) their first loss of the season on Friday.

The Huskies defeated Whitewater by a score of 6-1, winning all but one of the matches played. 

In the first doubles spot, senior Diana Lukyanova and sophomore Isabella Righi fought for a 6-4 win against junior Cassie Lee and sophomore Gracie Ha.

Juniors Erika Dimitriev and Angelica Ross beat sophomore Molly Asfeld and senior Kellie Ha, 6-3.

Controlling their match from the start, junior Reagan Welch and sophomore Jenna Horne bested senior MacKenzie Lindow and freshman Alex Repplier 6-0. 

“This season, doubles has been going really well for me and Isabella, so I feel like we’re feeling great,” Lukyanova said. “We had really good wins at number two, and moved into the number one spot which also went well. I feel like our doubles just became much stronger over the seasons and the whole team is playing really well in doubles.”

The Huskies won five out of six singles matches, all in two sets. 

Both in 6-2, 6-0 sets, Welch and Dimitriev defeated Asfeld and Gracie Ha respectively.

NIU freshman Sydney Paradise won her match against junior Sarah Ferguson, 6-2, 6-3.

Dominating her match, Lukyanova beat Kellie Ha without giving up a game in two straight 6-0 sets.

Also in 6-0, 6-0 sets, Ross commanded and won her match against Repplier. 

In her first singles match back from injury, senior Anastasia Rakita was fighting in 5-7, 3-4 sets against Lee when she retired the match due to a flare up in the pain that has kept her sidelined. 

NIU women’s tennis head coach Eric Burns reflected on the opponent in Whitewater and the team’s performance against them.

“They always give us a nice match,” Burns said on Whitewater.  “They’re scrappy. They make you finish points, so it was perfect for us to work on some things today. The doubles wasn’t quite what we wanted, but we responded really well in the singles and came out with a little more energy and more conviction.”

NIU only plays three more matches against non-conference opponents, all taking place next weekend. Lukyanova explained the toll the season has taken on players and the goal before moving into MAC play.

“I think we just need to stay healthy before conference,” Lukyanova said. “We play a lot and I feel like everyone is feeling their game right now and going for their shots. I feel like that is the most important thing.” 

The Huskies return to action at home at 11 a.m. Friday at the Nelson Tennis Center at Chick Evans Field House when they take on Lewis University. A live stream will be provided via Track Tennis.

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