The Drake women's tennis team commences its spring campaign this weekend as the Bulldogs visit Chicago, Ill., for a pair of matches. Drake kicks off its season versus Chicago State on Friday (Jan. 25) at 7:00 p.m. before squaring off against Bowling Green on Saturday (Jan. 26) at 12:30 p.m.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Drake returns four letterwinners from a squad that posted a school record in wins with a 22-7 ledger last spring, including a second-place showing in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bulldogs picked up where they left off a year ago in the fall, registering a 102-76 combined singles/doubles record.
Freshmen Jordan Eggleston (LaQuinta, Calif.) and Maddie Johnson (Onalaska, Wis.) led Drake with 22-9 and 20-9 combined singles/doubles ledgers, respectively. Eggleston registered a team-best 12 singles victories, while matching junior Klavdija Rebol (Kranj, Slovenia) with a team-high 10 doubles triumphs.
The Bulldogs also received combined double-digit victory totals from freshman Mariel Ante (Riverside, Calif.), sophomore Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Rebol, freshman Evy Van Genechten (Antwerp, Belgium), senior Ali Patterson (Overland Park, Kan.) and freshman Lea Kozulic (Varazdin, Croatia) with 17, 16, 14, 14, 13 and 12 wins, respectively.
A YEAR AGO
Drake pushed its then winning streak to eight straight on Feb. 18, 2012, as the Bulldogs downed Chicago State, 7-0, at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
Clinching the triumph for Drake at the No. 2 spot was Krizman, who dealt Rosalia Tejoprayitno a 6-1, 6-2 setback.
The Bulldogs also benefited from wins at the Nos. 3, 4 and 6 holes from Demos, Amanda Aragon and Amanda Dick (Kenosha, Wis.).
DRAKE HEAD COACH PAUL THOMSON
Paul Thomson is in his third season leading the Drake women's tennis program after serving five years (2005-10) as head men's and women's coach at Brevard College in Brevard, N.C.
Thomson led the Bulldogs to a 13-10 mark during his inaugural campaign, including a 4-3 third-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference and Drake's first winning record since 2006.
During his rookie season guiding the Bulldogs, he mentored then freshman Klavdija Rebol, who became Drake's initial first team All-MVC performer since 2005, garnering all-league accolades at the No. 3 singles position. Manca Krizman was also honored for her play on the court, being named to the All-Select squad by the MVC coaches.
Off the court, Gabriela Demos was honored for the second-consecutive year as a first team MVC Scholar-Athlete selection.
In 2012, Thomson led the Bulldogs to a record-setting 22-7 ledger, en route to a 5-2 second-place finish in the MVC. The 22 victories established a school record for wins and allowed Drake to surpass the 20-victory plateau for only the second time in school history.
The Bulldogs captured their initial postseason triumph since 2006 when Drake advanced to the State Farm MVC Championship semifinals with a 4-1 victory over Northern Iowa.
Five players earned 20 or more singles wins, sparked by Krizman, who posted a team-best 31-5 singles record, which included a 25-match winning streak. Every Bulldog registered a winning singles' record, while all but one Drake player matched the feat in doubles, led by 27 wins courtesy of Demos.
Pulling in MVC All-Select team honors were Krizman and Rebol, while Demos was named to the All-MVC Scholar Athlete first team for the third-consecutive campaign. Collecting honorable mention All-MVC Scholar-Athlete accolades was Krizman.
Drake's senior class of Amanda Aragon, Jessica Aguilera, Demos, Krizman and Earlynn Lauer made its mark on the Bulldogs' program. Demos finished first in school history (since 2006-07) in combined career victories (139), while ranking third in school history (since 1990-91) in career doubles wins (74). Krizman is third in school history (since 2006-07) in combined career victories (126), while Aguilera is rated fourth (120).
In the first of five-straight contests at home, Drake hosts Gustavus Adolphus and UMKC at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center on Feb. 2. Match times are slated for 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., respectively.