Bulldogs Open Valley Play At Northern Iowa
The Drake women’s tennis team kicks off the Missouri Valley Conference portion of its schedule this Saturday (March 30) battling in-state rival Northern Iowa in a 10:00 a.m. road tilt. The Bulldogs are seeking to build off a second-place showing in the league last season. The task will be challenging as five Bulldogs will get their first taste of MVC competition when they hit the court versus the Panthers.
A LOOK BACK
Drake registered a 6-1 non-conference victory over Bradley on March 15 at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
The Bulldogs stormed out of the gates claiming the early momentum with a sweep of the doubles competition.
Van Genechten and Boyd pushed the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-0 following singles triumphs at the Nos. 2 and 4 positions, respectively.
Van Genechten bested Sarah Rodefeld at No. 2, 6-1, 6-1, before Boyd downed Carly Miles at No.4, 6-1, 6-2.
Claiming the match-clincher at No. 5 for Drake was freshman Jordan Eggleston (LaQuinta, Calif.), who posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
The Bulldogs also garnered wins at the No. 1 and 3 positions to account for the final 6-1 margin.
On the No. 1 court, junior Klavdija Rebol (Kranj, Slovenia) edged Adele Henke, 6-2, 6-4.
After winning her initial set at No. 3 versus Cassia Wojtalik, 6-0, freshman Lea Kozulic (Varazdin, Croatia) dropped a 6-4 decision in the second frame to force a super tiebreaker to determine the winner of the match. Kozulic fell behind early before fighting off several match points to claim the tiebreaker, 14-12, to earn a 6-0, 4-6, 14-12 triumph.
IN OUR LAST ENCOUNTERS
Drake 4, Northern Iowa 1 (April 27, 2012)
OMAHA, Neb. - Drake garnered its first postseason victory since 2006 with a 4-1 triumph over Northern Iowa at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship on April 27, 2012.
The Panthers cut the Bulldogs’ advantage to 3-1 with a triumph by Chelsea Moore at No. 4, 7-5, 6-3.
Clinching the Bulldogs’ first postseason triumph since defeating Missouri State in the quarterfinal round of the State Farm MVC Championship in 2006 was Rebol, who rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win at the No. 2 position.
Drake 4, Northern Iowa 3 (March 31, 2012)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Overcoming an early 1-0 deficit, Drake opened Missouri Valley Conference play registering a come-from-behind 4-3 triumph over Northern Iowa at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
Doubles play came down to the wire as the Panthers’ duo of Jessica Kunzelmann and Nina Pfahler notched a 7-5 decision over Jessica Aguilera and Klavdija Rebol in the tiebreaker at No. 2, to post a 9-8 (5) victory and claim the doubles point.
On the strength of her 23rd-straight win in singles play, Manca Krizman squared the affair at one, after dispatching Pfahler at the top slot, 6-0, 6-2.
Kunzelmann eased Northern Iowa back into the lead, 2-1, after downing Gabriela Demos at No. 3, 6-3, 6-1.
Aguilera followed by erasing the deficit at the No. 5 position, besting Krissy Lankelma, 6-3, 6-1. Ali Patterson (Overland Park, Kan.) gave the Bulldogs the lead for good recording a 6-1, 6-4 decision at No. 6.
Clinching Drake’s first victory over the Panthers since the 2009 campaign was Rebol, who conquered Cassandra Dix at the No. 2 position, 6-4, 6-2.
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 and Maddie Johnson (Onalaska, Wis.) lead Drake with 36-21 and 31-15 combined singles/doubles ledgers, respectively. Freshman Evy Van Genechten has registered a team-best 19 singles victories, while Eggleston owns a team-high 18 doubles triumphs.
The Bulldogs also have received combined double-digit victory totals from Van Genechten, Klavdija Rebol, sophomore Nell Boyd, freshman Lea Kozulic, freshman Mariel Ante (Riverside, Calif.), senior Ali Patterson and sophomore Amanda Dick (Kenosha, Wis.) with 29, 28, 27, 23, 20, 16 and 11 wins, respectively.
• Evy Van Genechten owns an 8-2 mark in her last 10 singles matches. Maintaining identical 6-4 winning records over the same span in singles are Nell Boyd, Amanda Dick, Maddie Johnson and Ali Patterson.
• Klavdija Rebol is two singles wins shy of 50 for her Drake career.
• Johnson and Lea Kozulic are 6-4 as a duo in their last 10 doubles matches.
• During the dual campaign, Jordan Eggleston and Rebol pace the Bulldogs with eight and seven doubles victories, respectively.
• Van Genechten leads Drake with a 11-3 singles record during the spring season, while also owning winning marks are Johnson (6-3) and Rebol (7-6).
The Bulldogs own a 27-7 mark in the Roger Knapp Tennis Center under head coach Paul Thomson.
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.
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.
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).
Drake hosts Creighton and Wichita State at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center on April 6 and 7, respectively. Match time versus the Bluejays is set for 1:00 p.m., while the showdown with the Shockers begins at 10:00 a.m.