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Senior Ali Patterson
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Bulldogs Close Out Home Campaign Hosting Southern Illinois And Evansville

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: April 11, 2013
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The Drake women’s tennis team looks to close out its home campaign on a high note this weekend as the Bulldogs host Southern Illinois and Evansville at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.  The Salukis are first on the docket on Saturday (April 13) in a 1:00 p.m. tilt.  Drake closes its home efforts on Sunday (April 14) battling the Purple Aces in a 10:00 a.m. showdown.

The Bulldogs’ tilts with Southern Illinois and Evansville this weekend represent the final home matches in the Drake career of senior Ali Patterson (Overland Park, Kan.).  She enters this weekend with a 59-57 combined singles/doubles record over her four seasons. She has registered a career high in doubles victories this season (10), while having yet to play a singles match this spring.  She will be honored with Senior Day festivities before the Bulldogs’ match versus Southern Illinois on Saturday (April 13).

The Bulldogs split a pair of matches at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center last weekend as Drake dealt Creighton a 7-0 setback on Saturday (April 6) before falling to Wichita State, 4-3, on Sunday (April 7).

Drake 7, Creighton 0 (April 6, 2013)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake improved to 2-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference following a 7-0 triumph past Creighton last Saturday (April 6) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

The Bulldogs garnered the only point they needed in the affair with a sweep of the doubles competition.  Registering the doubles tally on the No. 1 court was the tandem of junior Klavdija Rebol (Kranj, Slovenia) and freshman Jordan Eggleston (LaQuinta, Calif.), who bested Anna Kirshenbaum and Analese Snyder, 8-4.

Freshman Maddie Johnson (Onalaska, Wis.) extended Drake’s advantage to 2-0 in singles after posting a 6-2, 6-1 decision at the No. 4 slot.

Sophomore Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.) brought the Bulldogs to within a point of victory on the No. 5 court, dispatching Liz Vermillion, 6-2, 6-0.

Sealing the triumph for Drake with a 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 1 was Rebol.

The Bulldogs also received victories at the Nos. 2, 3 and 6 positions from freshmen Evy Van Genechten (Antwerp, Belgium), Lea Kozulic (Varazdin, Croatia) and Mariel Ante (Riverside, Calif.).

Wichita State 4, Drake 3 (April 7, 2013)
DES MOINES, Iowa - The upset bid for Drake came up just short as Wichita State, the defending MVC champions, narrowly escaped the Roger Knapp Tennis Center with a 4-3 decision over the Bulldogs last Sunday (April 7).

The Shockers assumed the early momentum in the affair registering victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles positions to secure the doubles tally and a 1-0 lead.

Wichita State pushed its advantage to 3-0 in singles with triumphs on the Nos. 1 and 3 courts.

Refusing to go down without a fight, the Bulldogs mounted a comeback that began with Maddie Johnson collecting a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 4.

The momentum was short-lived as Carla Venticinque gave the Shockers the match-clinching tally with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at the No. 6 position.

Drake closed the match with triumphs at the Nos. 2 and 5 slots courtesy of Evy Van Genechten and Nell Boyd to account for the final 4-3 margin.

Southern Illinois 4, Drake 3 (April 14, 2012)
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Drake’s bid to earn its 20th victory of the season was thwarted by Southern Illinois as the Salukis earned a 4-3 decision.

The value of the doubles point in the affair proved instrumental as Southern Illinois captured the tally with a 9-7 victory at the No. 2 position.

Rebol evened the affair at one in singles at the No. 2 slot, 6-0, 6-1.

The Bulldogs extended their advantage to 2-1 following Amanda Aragon dispatching Gisela Cairo Baza at No. 6, 6-2, 6-2.

Seeking her 26th-consecutive win at the No. 1 hole was Manca Krizman.  Unfortunately, her bid came up short as Melanie Delsart posted a 7-5, 7-5 triumph to even the affair at two.

The Salukis garnered a triumph at the No. 5 position to regain the lead before sealing the victory with a win on court No. 4.

Gabriela Demos closed out the win total for Drake claiming a 6-7, 6-4, 2-1 triumph after Lee retired in the third set.

Drake 5, Evansville 2 (April 15, 2012)
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Drake cracked the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1992 on the strength of the Bulldogs’ 5-2 victory at Evansville.

The Bulldogs were forced to come from behind to earn the triumph after the Purple Aces collected the doubles tally with wins at the Nos. 1 and 3 positions.

Drake came out determined to start singles play and the results showed as the Bulldogs rolled off three unanswered victories to stake themselves to a 3-1 advantage.

Manca Krizman returned to the win column downing Dora Kotsiou on court No. 1, 6-1, 6-0. 

Amanda Aragon followed by besting Kelsey Costales at No. 6, 6-2, 6-3.

Nell Boyd gave the Bulldogs their third tally of the match registering a 6-2, 6-2 triumph at the No. 4 position.

Evansville cut the deficit to 3-2 after a win at No. 2.  Gabriela Demos sealed the affair in Drake’s favor on court No. 3, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

Ali Patterson rounded out the victory total for the Bulldogs registering a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 triumph at the No. 5 slot.

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, Maddie Johnson, Evy Van Genechten and Klavdija Rebol lead Drake with 40-22, 35-17, 32-21 and 32-25 combined singles/doubles ledgers, respectively.  Van Genechten has registered a team-best 22 singles victories, while Eggleston owns a team-high 21 doubles triumphs.

The Bulldogs also have received combined double-digit victory totals from sophomore Nell Boyd, freshman Lea Kozulic, freshman Mariel Ante, senior Ali Patterson and sophomore Amanda Dick (Kenosha, Wis.) with 30, 25, 23, 18 and 11 wins, respectively.

•    Evy Van Genechten owns an 9-1 mark in her last 10 singles matches.  Maintaining a 8-2 record over the same span in singles is Nell Boyd.
•    Klavdija Rebol is one singles win shy of 50 for her Drake career.
•    Rebol has established a new career-high with 20 doubles wins this season.
•    During the dual campaign, Jordan Eggleston paces the Bulldogs with 11 doubles victories, while Rebol has contributed 10.
•    Van Genechten leads Drake with a 14-3 singles record during the spring season, while also owning winning marks are Johnson (9-3), Nell Boyd (9-8), Amanda Dick (4-3), Eggleston (7-7) and Rebol (8-8).

The Bulldogs own a 28-8 mark in the Roger Knapp Tennis Center under 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 Gabriela 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 closes the regular season with road matches at Bradley and Illinois State on April 20 and 21, respectively.  The showdown with the Braves is set to begin at 1:00 p.m., while the tilt with the Redbirds will swing in action at 10:00 a.m.

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