Fall season ends for women's tennis, Huskies stumble at Redbird Invitational

Junior Lara Slisko prepares for an opponents swing at the NIU Tennis Courts.

DeKALB — The women’s tennis team finished its fall season Sunday with the Redbird Invitational at Illinois State University where NIU failed to pick up a bracket finish better than fourth place.

“This was a tough tournament for us,” Head Coach Eric Burns said in an NIU athletics news release. “We had prepared well but just didn’t get the results we were hoping for. We did play much better on day two and brought better energy which was a goal of ours for the weekend.”

In three separate singles brackets, junior Maria Potsi and sophomore teammates Christy Robinson and Julia Dmitrieva picked up fourth place, the best finishes for NIU in the tournament.

Potsi won her opening round match against ISU junior Natalia Bravo in straight 6-2 sets before losing in the semifinals of the Flight 1 bracket to Melisa Ates, Washington State University senior. In three sets with a tiebreaker, Potsi lost to Redbird first-year Tara Damnjanovic in the third place match.

Robinson also won her first round contest against Redbird junior Jalena Karla Vujicic but lost to ISU sophomore Ivon Mihaleva. Robinson won her first set against WSU’s first-year Carla Quadflieg in the third place match of Flight 2 but ultimately dropped the match in three sets.

Dmitrieva competed in the Flight 3 singles bracket, winning her opening round match in three sets after dropping the opening set 6-2. Dmitrieva lost her semifinal match in three sets and forced a tiebreaker in the second set of her third place match before losing.

The end of the invitational brings the end of the fall season for women’s tennis, and Burns said the short fall schedule gave the Huskies playing time, allowing them to see what they need to work on leading into the spring schedule.

“We will continue to work on the things we need to address in the off season,” Burns said. “Overall it was a positive fall season for our team and hopefully one we can build on.”

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