Drake Moves Into MVC Women's Tennis Championship Match Besting Southern Illinois, 4-1
NORMAL, Ill. – The Drake women’s tennis team will go in search of its first Missouri Valley Conference Championship title since 2000 after the Bulldogs registered a 4-1 triumph past Southern Illinois in the tournament semifinals on Saturday (April 26).
Wichita State, who has captured the last five MVC Championship titles, awaits Drake in Sunday’s (April 27) championship match at 2:00 p.m.
“We were down 0-4 on court two in doubles today and the way Maddie (Johnson) and Nell (Boyd) battled back was amazing,” Drake head coach Sadhaf Pervez commented. “I would not want anyone in that position besides Maddie and Nell today. They are our clutch players in singles and doubles. Today was a huge step for our program. We have not beaten SIU since 2011 and to get it done today by beating the No. 2 tournament seed was amazing.”
The Bulldogs and Salukis opened the contest splitting doubles contests at the Nos. 1 and 3 positions.
The doubles point came down to the No. 2 doubles court where junior Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and sophomore Maddie Johnson (Onalaska, Wis.) overcame a 4-0 deficit to capture an 8-6 come-from-behind triumph past Anita Lee and Korey Love, to give Drake a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Jordan Eggleston (LaQuinta, Calif.) pushed the Bulldogs’ advantage to 2-0 after registering a 6-0, 6-0 win over Ariadna Cairo Baza at the No. 5 singles slot.
Lee cut Southern Illinois’ deficit to 2-1 after posting a victory at No. 2.
Boyd stretched Drake’s lead to 3-1 dispatching Polina Dozortseva on the No. 4 court, 6-1, 6-1.
Earning the match-clinching point with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph past Gisela Cairo Baza at No. 6 was sophomore Lea Kozulic (Varazdin, Croatia).
“We have been working for this opportunity tomorrow ever since I became the head coach at Drake,” said Pervez. “Wichita State has won 50 conference matches in a row and I respect that. We are going to give them a fight for the title tomorrow. The winner gets a bid to the NCAA tournament and we are not ready to end this season.”
DRAKE (16-5) DEF. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (17-8), 4-1
APRIL 26, 2014 • NORMAL, ILL.
No. 1 Natasha Tomishima (SIU) leading Klavdija Rebol (DU), 6-3, 2-3 unfinished
No. 2 Anita Lee (SIU) def. Mariel Ante (DU), 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 Maddie Johnson (DU) leading Meagan Monaghan (SIU), 6-2, unfinished
No. 4 Nell Boyd (DU) def. Polina Dozortseva (SIU), 6-1, 6-1
No. 5 Jordan Eggleston (DU) def. Ariadna Cairo Baza (SIU), 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 Lea Kozulic (DU) def. Gisela Cairo Baza (SIU), 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: 5,2,4,6
No. 1 Monaghan/Tomishima (SIU) def. Kozulic/Rebol (DU), 8-1
No. 2 Boyd/Johnson (DU) def. Lee/Korey Love (SIU), 8-6
No. 3 Ante/Eggleston (DU) def. A. Cairo Baza/Dozortseva (SIU), 8-4
Order of finish: 1,3,2