Playing in their final home matches at Drake, seniors Jessica Aguilera (Santa Cruz, Bolivia), Amanda Aragon (Fort Collins, Colo.), Gabriela Demos (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Earlynn Lauer (Wichita, Kan.), along with junior Manca Krizman (Solkan, Slovenia) registered the Bulldogs' initial win over the Redbirds since a 4-3 win on April 7, 2002, a span of 14 matches.
"Words cannot express how proud and happy I am for these young ladies, especially these five seniors," Bulldog head coach Paul Thomson commented. "It's a great start to the conference season, but we still have a great deal of work to do and can still improve. Hats off to Illinois State, they are a very good team and put forth a great effort."
The Bulldogs seized control of the match in doubles as the tandem of Aragon and freshman Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.) clinched the doubles tally with an 8-5 triumph over Hannah Esker and Stefanie Youngberg at the No. 3 position. The two sides had split decisions in the top-two doubles tilts.
In singles, Drake exerted its momentum winning three straight to secure the victory in the affair.
Demos began the run by downing Phyllis Tigges on court No. 3, 6-1, 6-1, before Krizman notched her 25th-straight singles win at the top slot, 6-1, 7-5, past Aniko Kiss.
Falling behind 3-0 in the first set of her showdown with Ariane Maack at No. 4, Boyd fought back to take a 7-5, 6-3 decision to earn the match-clinching point and keep the Bulldogs undefeated in Missouri Valley Conference play at 3-0.
After an Illinois State victory at the No. 6 position, Drake closed the affair with wins on the Nos. 2 and 5 courts courtesy of sophomore Klavdija Rebol (Kranj, Slovenia) and junior Ali Patterson (Overland Park, Kan.).
Patterson's effort was even more impressive considering she trailed in the third set, 5-1, before rallying to defeat Youngberg, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Drake returns to action next weekend with matches at Southern Illinois and Evansville on Saturday (April 14) and Sunday (April 15), respectively.
DRAKE (19-4, 3-0 MVC) DEF. ILLINOIS STATE (7-10, 1-1 MVC), 6-1
APRIL 7, 2012 • ROGER KNAPP TENNIS CENTER
No. 1 Manca Krizman (DU) def. Aniko Kiss (ILS), 6-1, 7-5
No. 2 Klavdija Rebol (DU) def. Emmie Marx (ILS), 2-6, 7-5, 6-0
No. 3 Gabriela Demos (DU) def. Phyllis Tigges (ILS), 6-1, 6-1
No. 4 Nell Boyd (DU) def. Ariane Maack (ILS), 7-5, 6-3
No. 5 Ali Patterson (DU) def. Stefanie Youngberg (ILS), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
No. 6 Hannah Esker (ILS) def. Jessica Aguilera (DU), 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: (3,1,4,6,2,5)
No. 1 Demos/Krizman (DU) def. Kiss/Marx (ILS), 8-3
No. 2 Maack/Tigges (ILS) def. Aguilera/Rebol (DU), 8-5
No. 3 Amanda Aragon/Boyd (DU) def. Esker/Youngberg (ILS), 8-5
Order of finish: (1,2,3)