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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Women’s tennis’ Saturday sweep extends winning streak to 5

Katherine Follmer
NIU senior Diana Lukyanova bounces the ball before serving at the Nelson Tennis Center at Chick Evans Field House Saturday. Lukyanova won all her matches in both singles and doubles as women’s tennis defeated Eastern Illinois University 7-0 and University of St. Thomas 6-1. (Katherine Follmer | Northern Star)

Increasing their win streak to five matches, NIU women’s tennis (11-5) completed their sweep of the weekend against Eastern Illinois University (0-14) and University of St. Thomas (6-5).

NIU swept Eastern Illinois, winning all but one match, which was ruled incomplete.

Senior Diana Lukyanova and sophomore Isabella Righi defeated Eastern Illinois senior Addison Brown and sophomore Jemma Booth in a dominant 6-2 set. Junior Reagan Welch and sophomore Jenna Horne won a 6-2 set against freshman Michelle Kostadinova and sophomore Emma Pilipovic-Kljajic.

Sophomore Nataly Ninova and senior Anastasia Rakita were up 5-3 against sophomore Aleyla Wooten and junior Luisa Renovales Salazar when the match ended.

The Huskies dominated singles matches, winning all in only two sets. 

Righi bested Kostadinova in two 6-2 sets, and freshman Sydney Paradise defeated Pilipovic-Kljajic in 6-0, 6-2 sets. Ninova controlled her match against Booth, winning by a score of 6-0, 6-1. Welch won the first set against Wooten 6-2, and prevented the comeback to win the second set 6-4. In 6-1, 6-1 sets, Horne was victorious against Renovales Salazar. Lukyanova took the first set 6-1 in her match against Brown before winning the second set 7-5. 

Later in the day, against St. Thomas, NIU dominated in a 6-1 win, with St. Thomas’ only point coming when Righi had to withdraw from her singles match. 

Lukyanova and Righi defeated freshman Yinong Ma and junior Marthe Degeorges in a 6-2 match. Welch and Rakita bested junior Shrichandrakala Tentu and sophomore Naisha Srivastav in a 6-3 win that clinched the doubles point for NIU. 

Junior Erika Dimitriev and Ninova were locked in a 5-5 match against freshman Caroline Lindahl and graduate student Olivia Paradise when the match was unfinished. 

Horne won 6-3, 6-2 sets against Srivastav, and Lukyanova bested Lindahl 6-0, 6-3. In the No. 1 spot, Dimitriev took 6-4, 6-1 sets against Degeorges.

Ninova took her match to three sets, defeating Ma 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2. Welch dropped the first set against Tentu, 4-6, before taking the next two sets 6-3, 1-0 (10-5) to seal the victory. 

After losing the first set 6-2 against Paradise, Righi was forced to retire from the match, giving St. Thomas its only point of the afternoon.

“There were a lot of really good efforts across the board today,” said NIU women’s tennis head coach Eric Burns via NIU Athletics. “It was a team effort the whole weekend. Now we can segue and start thinking about the MAC matches. We feel good about where we’re at.”

The Huskies return to action at noon CT Sunday in Muncie, Indiana, at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center where they will face their first MAC opponent in Ball State University.

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