Huskies drop two MAC matches to fall to 0-4 in conference play

DeKALB — Two defeats over the weekend saw the women’s tennis team stay winless in Mid-American Conference play. The Huskies faced Bowling Green State University Friday, and Miami University Sunday, losing both matches 1-6.

The two road losses keep the Huskies winless in away conference matches since the 2016-17 season. NIU traveled to Bowling Green and beat the Falcons 5-2 in a regular season match last season for the Huskies lone win.

“I thought we did not perform very well against Bowling Green,” Head Coach Tanya Mahefu said. “We had chances to take the doubles point but couldn’t close. In singles we could have been more competitive.”

Related: Women's Tennis drops first two in MAC play

NIU stays winless against Miami a streak that goes back since the 2002-03 season.

“The match against Miami I think we played better as a whole,” Mahefu said.

 

v. Bowling Green

Sophomores Maria Potsi and Lara Slisko grabbed a victory in doubles play, but the Falcons came out on top with two wins to take the 0-1 lead.

Potsi and Slisko faced senior Polina Radeva and first-year Laura Silveira where the Huskie pair kept the Falcons scoreless, 6-0.

Bowling Green earned their first win when senior Ayumi Sasaki and sophomore Madta Bettinelli beat junior Brodie Walker and first-year Fernanda Naves 6-4.

Junior Jovana Peric and sophomore Paula Veyhle were shutout in their match against senior Paula Comella and junior Marharita-Sophia Tavpash to secure the doubles point for the Falcons.

Singles matches didn’t get any better for NIU as junior Brodie Walker earned the only victory for the Huskies.

Walker’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory came against Radeva in a three-set match that saw the Huskie come back from a first-set loss. Walker’s victory was one of two singles matches that went to three sets.

Potsi’s match against Comella saw the Huskie lose the lead after a first-set win. The match went to a decisive third set. Potsi fell to Comella 6-4, 0-6, 7-5.

The other Huskie defeats came from Peric, Naves, Veyhle, and first-year Christy Robinson.

Peric fell to Tavpash 1-6, 0-3.Naves fell to senior Vanesa Pardo 1-6, 4-6. Veyhle dropped her match against Bettinelli 4-6, 2-6. The losses secured the 1-6 Falcon victory.

 

v. Miami

NIU was able to get one win in the doubles matches, but the Redhawks held tight and earned two victories and took the doubles point.

Veyhle and Robinson got the lone victory for NIU as they went on to defeat sophomores Janelle Ghanem and Makenzie Myers. The Huskies won 6-1.

Miami closed out the doubles match with wins from first-year Brindtha Ramasamy and sophomore Milana Lyasova against Potsi and Slisko, and a defeat of Naves and Walker against senior Emily Struble and Melati Devi.

In singles play, NIU struggled with three Huskies losing their second match of the weekend’s conference play.

Veyhle put up the lone Huskie point in a match against Struble that went to three sets. The Huskie took the first set, 7-4, before being shutout in the second. The third set saw Veyhle rally back to grab a 1-0 victory.

Sliska made her only appearance in singles play for the weekend. She faced Myers, but fell 2-6, 4-6.

Walker was unable to carry her momentum from Friday’s singles victory as she fell to Lysova 1-6, 5-7.

Potsi, Robinson, and Naves all picked up their second loss of the weekend. Potsi fell to Ramasamy 1-6, 3-6.

Robinson dropped her match against first-year Jordan Ortega-Mendez 4-7, 1-4 while Naves was defeated by Devi 4-6, 2-6.

NIU will travel one final time this regular season for conference play and will have an opportunity to snap their MAC losing streak.

The Huskies will then close out their season with two home matches.

“I think we need to focus on taking advantage of opportunities when we are up in matches,” Mahefu said. “Staying positive and just believing in ourselves [is key].”

The Huskies will face Akron University, Mahefu’s alma-mater, before hosting University of Buffalo.

First serve against Akron is set for noon Friday in Akron while the Buffalo match is set for 1 p.m. Sunday in DeKalb.