Women’s Tennis splits weekend meets in Wisconsin

By Marcel Carrasco

The women’s tennis team split weekend matches, losing to the University of Wisconsin 7-0 Saturday before responding with a dominant 7-0 sweep over the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay Sunday.

 “Overall, I am happy with the way we finished the weekend,” Head Coach Tanya Mahefu said. “I thought we stepped it up in our second match of the weekend. We’re looking forward to a competitive weekend ahead.”

 Saturday’s matchup against the Wisconsin Badgers was the sixth time the Badgers have shutout NIU in seven meets dating back to the 2007-08 season. NIU was unable to put a blemish on Wisconsin’s record which now sits at 6-0.

 The Huskies handed the Green Bay Phoenix their third loss of the season. NIU’s ability to comeback from a shutout defeat was similar to last year’s 7-0 defeat to Wisconsin, except that time NIU took out Green Bay 6-1.

Related: Women’s Tennis splits meets in Milwaukee

 The Huskies sit at 2-2 after the weekend matches making it the third time in five years NIU has started with an even record after the first four matches of the season.

V. Wisconsin

 The Huskies dropped their second meet of the year after they were shut out by the Wisconsin Badgers. NIU dropped the doubles point being outscored by 11 points.

 The Huskies struggled in singles play as no one managed to put more than 3 points in any singles match.

 Junior Jovana Peric and first-year Paula Veyhle were first on the court facing redshirt first-year Sara Castellano and sophomore Anna Makarova. The Wisconsin double took the first doubles match in a 6-1 defeat for NIU.

 The Huskies made the second doubles match competitive when first-year Christy Robinson and junior Brodie Walker battled junior Melissa Pick and sophomore Maryann Rompf, but the NIU pair fell 6-3.

 The final doubles action ended in a 5-2 Huskies’ defeat. First-years Julia Dmitrieva and Fernanda Nava faced junior Christina Zordani and first-year Anna Markham in a matched that went unfinished. This was Dmitrieva and Nava’s first match as a pair in the early season.

 Peric kicked off singles play going up against no. 31 Castellano for the second time, but her efforts were not enough as nationally-ranked Castellano handed Peric a 6-0, 6-3 loss.

 Walker faced no. 41 sophomore Lexi Keberle in the second singles match up. Walker fell 6-0, 6-1.

 Robinson faced Makarova in another tough match for the Huskies. Robinson showed signs of life in the first set, but was shutout in the second in a 6-3, 6-0 loss.

 Vehyle was the only Huskie to score points in both sets during singles play, but her efforts were not enough as she fell to Pick 6-1, 6-3.

 NIU went on to lose the last two matches in dull action as the Huskies only managed to score one point in all four sets.

v. Green Bay

 The Huskies took the couples point against the Green Bay Phoenix as NIU won all three matches. All three Huskie couples were different from the Wisconsin bout, and it worked for the best.

 Peric paired up with sophomore Maria Potsi in the opening couples match. The Huskies faced first-years Yasmin Glazbrook and Kimberly Kaome. Peric and Potsi’s win set the early tone in a 6-1 victory for NIU.

 Vehyle and Walker were next for NIU as they were able to keep the momentum going with a 5-2 victory against juniors Tallie Piaskowski and Theresa Tebon. NIU’s second couples victory was enough to clinch the couples point for the Huskies, putting them up 1-0 to start the meet.

 NIU closed out the third couples match with another 6-1 victory, this time from Robinson and Naves against Green Bay’s junior Monika Gredzinski and first-year Evgeniya Malygina.

 Singles play went just as well as couple play with the Huskies sweeping all six matches. Peric led the way once again and did not disappoint. The Huskie faced Glazbrook resulting in a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

 Potsi kept things rolling for NIU after defeating Koame 6-1, 6-3, while Walker took on Tebon and put up the third-straight singles win for the Huskies, 6-0 and 6-2.

 NIU’s Robinson had the best performance for the Huskies and did not let up a single point against Piaskowski. Robinson took both sets 6-0, 6-0, her first shutout in her young NIU career.

 Veyhle and Naves closed out the last two matches with two more victories sealing a great win for NIU. Veyhle defeated Gredzinski 6-1 and 6-2 while Naves shutout Malygina in a single set 8-0 win.

 NIU will have a four day rest before they return to the courts. The Huskies will return home, and hold their home campaign openers at 12 p.m. Feb 8 in Rockford, IL before a one day rest for their second home match at 10 a.m. Feb 10.

 The Huskies will face in-state opponent Bradley University on friday and the University of North Dakota on Sunday.  NIU is 4-2 in the last six meetings against Bradley, and 2-0 against North Dakota dating back to the 2011-12 season.