Women's tennis falls to SIUE for fifth straight loss

After splitting six matches in singles play the women's tennis team dropped a hard fought 3-4 meet Sunday to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Although it ended in defeat, the Huskies had their best performance in an away loss. Prior to Sunday’s fall against the Cougars the Huskies managed only one point in their three road losses.

“I think we need to play better as a team,” Head Coach Tanya Mahefu. “We need to compete better, and deal with adversity. We are young, but we need to play like we are seniors.”

Mahefu also said her team needs to work harder and be able to take ownership of their performances.

SIUE took two of the three couples duals to go up on the scoreboard with the couples’ point which proved to be the deciding factor. NIU is 1-5 when losing the couples point this season.

First-year Christy Robinson and junior Brodie Walker teamed up again making them the longest running couple this season. The Huskie pair faced junior Lara Tupper and senior Ann-Christine Link but fell 5-7.

The Huskies fell again as first-year Paula Veyhle and sophomore Lara Slisko dropped a 4-6 match to first-year Maria Thibault and redshirt sophomore Callaghan Adams.

Related: Women's tennis shutout by DePaul as losing streak hits four

Sophomore Maria Potsi and first-year Fernanda Nava teammed up for the second time this year, and bounced back from Friday’s loss against DePaul with a 6-1 victory over SIUE’s senior Alina Munteanu and first-year Nicole Gomez.

In singles play Potsi faced Munteanu. The Huskie took the match 7-5 and 6-1. Potsi leads NIU in singles play victories with five.

Walker and Veyhle earned NIU’s other two wins. Walker faced Tupper and beat the Cougar 7-6 and 6-4 while Veyhle took down sophomore Raillane Kamdem 7-6 and 6-4.

SIUE matched NIU’s intensity when Gomez defeated Robinson 3-6 and 2-6. Slisko stays winless in singles play this season after losing to Adams 3-6 and 1-6.

Naves put up a battle in her bout against Link, taking the match to three sets. Naves fought hard, but the Cougar edged her out 1-6, 6-2, and 5-7.

Although the Huskies are now in a five-match losing drought, they sit in position to regroup with a 11-day rest before their next match.

“We look to hopefully have back healthy players and tweak the lineup in order for us to compete,” Mahefu said.

The Huskies will be back on the court with back-to-back matches starting 11 a.m. March 8 when they face University of Illinois in Chicago and 9 a.m. March 9 against Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Both meets will take place in Rockford.