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Showdowns At Bradley And Illinois State Close Regular Season For Bulldogs

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: April 17, 2013
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WHAT’S AHEAD
Drake draws to a close their road campaign this weekend as the Bulldogs are challenged by a pair of matches at Bradley and Illinois State.  Drake battles the Braves on Saturday (April 20) at 1:00 p.m. before a 10:00 a.m. showdown with the Redbirds on Sunday (April 21).

A LOOK BACK
The Bulldogs split a pair of matches at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center last weekend as Drake suffered a 4-3 setback versus Southern Illinois on Saturday (April 13) before registering a 4-3 victory past Evansville on Sunday (April 14).

Southern Illinois 4, Drake 3 (April 13, 2013)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake went down to the wire with Missouri Valley Conference leading Southern Illinois last Saturday (April 13) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center before the Salukis garnered a pair of three-set victories to escape with a 4-3 triumph over the Bulldogs.

Southern Illinois staked itself to a 1-0 lead following a sweep of the doubles competition.
The advantage grew to 2-0 in singles after Natasha Tomishima bested freshman Evy Van Genechten (Antwerp, Belgium) on the No. 2 court, 6-3, 6-2.

Freshman Maddie Johnson (Onalaska, Wis.) cut the margin to 2-1 following her 6-2, 6-3 triumph at the No. 4 slot.

Sophomore Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.) evened the affair at two, dispatching Ariadna Cairo Baza, 6-4, 6-2, on the No. 5 court.

The match then came down to a trio of third-set tiebreakers after the two sides split the initial two sets at the Nos. 1, 3 and 6 positions.

The Bulldogs needed victories in two of the three tilts if they were to savor a victory. Unfortunately for Drake, only freshman Jordan Eggleston (LaQuinta, Calif.) was able to pull out the triumph in the third set.  After dropping the initial frame versus Anastacia Simons at No. 6, 6-4, Eggleston rallied to notch a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Drake 4, Evansville 3 (April 14, 2013)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake closed out its home campaign on a winning note registering a 4-3 victory past Evansville last Sunday (April 14) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

Fueled by wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles positions, the Bulldogs captured a 1-0 advantage heading into singles action.

Securing the doubles tally at No. 2 was the tandem of Nell Boyd and Evy Van Genechten, who bettered Kelsey Costales and Marina Moreno, 8-6.

Turning in a triumph in her final home match was senior Ali Patterson (Overland Park, Kan.).  She paired with freshman Mariel Ante (Riverside, Calif.) to dispatch Gaby Fifer and Emily Richardson at No. 3 doubles, 8-3.

The Purple Aces captured a victory at No. 1 singles before Boyd placed Drake ahead to stay with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Fifer on the No. 4 court.

Jordan Eggleston pushed the lead to 3-1 in the Bulldogs’ favor after downing Mina Milovic at No. 5, 6-0, 6-1.

Corralling the match-clinching tally at the No. 6 position was Ante, who dealt Costales a 6-3, 6-4 setback.

Evansville added a pair of wins, including one by retirement, to close the match and account for the final 4-3 margin.

IN OUR LAST ENCOUNTERS
Illinois State 4, Drake 0 (April 28, 2012)
OMAHA, Neb. - Drake women’s tennis team fell short of its bid to play in its initial State Farm MVC Championship title match appearance since 2001, as Illinois State handed the Bulldogs a 4-0 setback in the semifinal round.

Illinois State took advantage in doubles registering victories at the top-two doubles slots to secure the doubles tally.

The Redbirds carried over their momentum into singles action, recording wins at the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 positions to earn the victory.

In a matches that weren’t finished, Jessica Aguilera led Stefanie Youngberg at No. 5, 7-6, 2-0, while Ali Patterson won her second set at No. 6 against Hannah Esker, 6-4, after dropping the initial set, 6-1.

Drake 6, Illinois State 1 (April 7, 2012)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Turning in a defining win for the Drake women’s tennis program, the Bulldogs notched a 6-1 victory past Illinois State at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

Playing in their final home matches at Drake, seniors Jessica Aguilera, Amanda Aragon, Gabriela Demos and Earlynn Lauer, along with Manca Krizman registered the Bulldogs’ initial win over the Redbirds since a 4-3 win on April 7, 2002, a span of 14 matches.

The Bulldogs seized control of the match in doubles as the tandem of Aragon and Nell Boyd clinched the doubles tally with an 8-5 triumph at the No. 3 position.  

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.

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.

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 Klavdija Rebol and Ali Patterson.

Drake 6, Bradley 1 (April 6, 2012)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake registered a 6-1 victory over Bradley at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

The Bulldogs swept all three doubles contests on the evening, with the tandem of Jessica Aguilera and Klavdija Rebol pulling in the deciding tally with an 8-3 decision at the No. 2 slot.

Manca Krizman garnered her 24th-straight singles victory downing Elizabeth Przystawski at No. 1, 6-0, 6-1.  Gabriela Demos extended Drake’s lead to 3-0 on court No. 3, 6-1, 6-1.

Amanda Aragon clinched the match in favor of the Bulldogs on the strength of a 6-1, 6-2 decision at the No. 4 position.

Rounding out Drake’s victory total on the evening was Rebol and Aguilera, who posted wins at the Nos. 2 and 5 slots, respectively.

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, Maddie Johnson, Evy Van Genechten and Klavdija Rebol lead Drake with 42-4, 36-18, 33-23 and 32-29 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 Nell Boyd, Lea Kozulic, Mariel Ante, Ali Patterson and sophomore Amanda Dick (Kenosha, Wis.) with 33, 25, 25, 19 and 11 wins, respectively.

DRAKE ODDS-N-ENDS
•    Nell Boyd owns an 9-1 mark in her last 10 singles matches.  Maintaining a 8-2 record over the same span in singles is Evy Van Genechten.
•    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 14-5 singles record during the spring season, while also owning winning marks are Maddie Johnson (10-3), Nell Boyd (11-8), Amanda Dick (4-3) and Eggleston (9-7).

HOME COOKING
The Bulldogs own a 29-9 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 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).

UP NEXT
Drake travels to Wichita, Kan., to compete at the MVC Championship next Friday (April 26) through Sunday (April 28).

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