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Sophomore Lea Kozulic
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No. 72 Bulldogs Seek To Extend Winning Streak Against Pair Of In-State Rivals

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: March 04, 2014
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A pair of in-state showdowns are on the docket for the Drake women’s tennis team this week as the Bulldogs look to extend their seven-match winning streak hosting Iowa before visiting Iowa State. Match time against the Hawkeyes on Wednesday (March 5) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center is set for 3:00 p.m., while the tilt versus the Cyclones on Friday (March 7) will begin at 5:00 p.m.

BULLDOGS CRACK ITA RANKINGS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2002
On the strength of its 7-1 start to the 2014 campaign, Drake cracked into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings checking in at No. 72 in the latest poll released on Tuesday (March 4).

The ranking is the first for the Bulldogs since being rated 75th on Feb. 13, 2002.

ANTE NAMED MVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Missouri Valley Conference announced that Drake sophomore Mariel Ante (Riverside, Calif.) was honored as the MVC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week.  The award marked the third weekly accolade for a Bulldog this season and the first in Ante’s career.

Ante helped Drake extend its winning streak to seven on the strength of a 3-0 combined singles/doubles mark in matches versus Nebraska and Colorado State this past week.

In the Bulldogs’ 5-2 victory at Nebraska last Friday (Feb. 28), Ante captured a 6-1, 6-4 triumph at No. 2 singles past Izabella Zgierska.

Ante added a pair of victories in a 7-0 decision over Colorado State last Saturday (March 1). In doubles, she and junior Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.) captured the doubles point with an 8-6 win at No. 2, before netting a 7-5, 2-6, 10-7 triumph on the No. 2 singles court.

On the season, Ante owns a 37-12 combined singles/doubles ledger. She is 7-1 in singles during the dual campaign and has registered a 9-1 mark in her last 10 singles matches.

BULLDOGS REGISTER 7-0 TRIUMPH PAST COLORADO STATE
Drake overcame a determined challenge from a talented Colorado State squad en route to collecting a 7-0 victory last Saturday (March 1) in Lincoln, Neb.

Each side registered a triumph in doubles before the Bulldogs claimed the doubles point following an 8-6 triumph by Nell Boyd and Mariel Ante over Mollie Cooper and Lauren Pick at the No. 2 position.

Drake was forced to work for every point in singles play as three of the six matches were decided in three sets.

Sophomore Jordan Eggleston (LaQuinta, Calif.) gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead dispatching Celine Voss at the No. 6 position, 6-0, 6-2.

Sophomore Maddie Johnson (Onalaska, Wis.) pushed the advantage to 3-0 on the No. 3 court, 6-1, 6-3.

Garnering the match-clinching tally at No. 4 was Boyd, who downed Pick, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

The Bulldogs also were the beneficiaries of three-set victories at the Nos. 1, 2 and 5 positions, respectively, courtesy of senior Klavdija Rebol (Kranj, Slovenia), Ante and sophomore Lea Kozulic (Varazdin, Croatia).

DRAKE GARNERS 5-2 WIN AT NEBRASKA
Drake registered its sixth consecutive victory with a 5-2 triumph past Nebraska last Friday (Feb. 28) in Lincoln, Neb.

Drake established the early momentum in the affair capturing victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles positions to secure the doubles tally.

Nell Boyd and Jordan Eggleston opened doubles play registering an 8-3 decision past Izabella Zgierska and Maike Zeppernick on the No. 2 court.

Maddie Johnson and Klavdija Rebol clinched the doubles point for the Bulldogs besting Lisa Andersson and Hannah Sulz, 8-5, at the No. 3 position.

The Huskers opened singles action with a 6-0, 6-0 victory by Zeppernick over Lea Kozulic on court No. 5 to even the affair at one.

Johnson put Drake went ahead to stay in the match dispatching Mary Hanna at No. 3, 6-4, 6-2.

Mariel Ante extended the Bulldogs’ advantage to 3-1 on the strength of a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 2.

Clinching the triumph for Drake on the No. 6 court was Eggleston, who recorded a 6-1, 6-2 win.

Following a Nebraska victory at No. 1, Boyd capped the evening for the Bulldogs with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 win on the No. 4 court.

IN OUR LAST MEETINGS
Iowa 7, Drake 0 (Feb. 16, 2013)
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Drake saw its then modest two-match winning streak snapped as Iowa registered a 7-0 victory past the Bulldogs.

The Hawkeyes garnered the doubles tally with wins at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions to assume a lead they didn’t relinquish in the first dual-match encounter between the schools since the 2006 campaign.

Iowa extended its lead to 3-0 with singles triumphs at the Nos. 1 and 3 slots before Shelby Talcott secured the match-clinching tally with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Lea Kozulic at No. 2.

Jordan Eggleston battled down to the wire on the No. 4 court before suffering a 6-3, 5-7, 10-7 setback versus Katie Zordani.

Iowa State 5, Drake 2 (March 8, 2013)
AMES, Iowa - Drake came up short in its bid to capture the Bulldogs’ in-state showdown at Iowa State as the Cyclones posted a 5-2 victory.

Iowa State garnered the doubles point on the strength of triumphs at the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles positions. The tandem of Nell Boyd and Evy Van Genechten earned Drake’s lone doubles win at No. 3, 8-5.

The Bulldogs exerted their muscle at the top of the singles lineup as Drake registered victories on the No. 1 and 3 courts, respectively.

Klavdija Rebol bested Simona Cacciuttolo at No. 1, 6-3, 7-6 (4), while Van Genechten dispatched Ana Gasparovic at No. 3, 6-4, 7-5.

DRAKE ODDS-N-ENDS
•    For the first time since the 2006 campaign, the Bulldogs will host Iowa in a dual match at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center on Wednesday (March 5).
•    During its seven-match winning streak Drake owns a 49-9 combined singles/doubles ledger, including a 35-7 record in singles action.
•    Nell Boyd and Jordan Eggleston lead the Bulldogs with 7-0 singles marks during the squad’s winning streak, while Mariel Ante, Lea Kozulic, Maddie Johnson and Klavdija Rebol have recorded 6-1, 6-1, 5-1 and 4-3 records, respectively.
•    The Bulldogs won their second straight decision over an opponent from the Big Ten Conference after besting Nebraska, 5-2, last Friday (Feb. 28). Five days earlier, Drake dealt Wisconsin a 4-3 setback on Feb. 23 at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
•    The Bulldogs’ 5-2 win at Nebraska was their first over the Huskers since 4-2 triumph at the then Drake Tennis Center on Feb. 17, 1996.
•    The Bulldogs’ win over Nebraska is even more impressive considering the Huskers were the 2013 Big Ten Conference regular season champions and were ranked as high as No. 25 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national poll this season, after reaching the third round of the NCAA Championship a year ago.
•    The Bulldogs’ win versus Wisconsin represented their first victory past a Big Ten Conference foe since besting Minnesota in 2002, 4-3, while also marking Drake’s first-ever triumph over the Badgers.
•    With her triumphs this past weekend, Boyd surpassed her career high for combined wins (41) set during the 2011-12 campaign. She now stands with a team-best 43-8 record.
•    Sporting a 24-1 doubles mark this season, including 8-0 during the spring campaign, Boyd directs Drake in doubles triumphs. She surpassed her career high for victories (21) set during her freshman season with the win over the Wisconsin.
•    Ante and Johnson each own a team-leading 20 singles victories this season to pace the Bulldogs. Ante’s 18 triumphs have established a career high, while Johnson is three wins shy of surpassing her 22 victories last season.
•     Boyd leads the Bulldogs with a 43-8 combined singles/doubles ledger. She is followed by Eggleston (40-11), Johnson (37-9), Ante (37-12),  Rebol (22-13) and Kozulic (16-9).
•    Johnson, Boyd and Ante are all 9-1 in their last 10 singles contests, respectively.
•    Rebol is ranked third at Drake in victories (since the 2006-07 campaign) with 125, one shy of equaling Manca Krizman (2009-12) for second place. She is also fourth in career doubles triumphs (since 1990-91) with 69, also one win away from matching Rajasree Kuruvilla for third all-time at Drake.
•    Boyd and Rebol are on pace to crack the Drake top 10 in career singles victories as the duo enters the Iowa match with 63 and 56 wins, respectively.
•    Johnson, Ante, Eggleston and Boyd are rated first, second, third and fifth, respectively, at Drake (since the 2007-08 campaign) in winning percentage in singles play.  The quartet owns .792 (42-11), .729 (35-13), .694 (43-19) and .636 (63-36) winning percentages, respectively. In doubles, Eggleston, Boyd, Johnson, Rebol and Ante highlight the top-five spots sporting .721 (44-17), .674 (58-28), .667 (32-16), .651 (69-37) and .640 (32-18) winning percentages.
•    Boyd was selected as the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 25 for the period of Feb. 17-23.
•    Johnson was tabbed as the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Jan. 28 for the period of Jan. 20-26.
•    Boyd was 16-1 in doubles matches this fall.
•    Drake finished 38-11 in doubles in the fall, with Boyd, Eggleston, Ante, Johnson and Rebol surpassing the 10-win plateau with 16, 16, 13, 13 and 10 victories, respectively.

DRAKE RECOGNIZED IN ITA PRESEASON RANKINGS
Maddie Johnson garnered recognition for her efforts on the court this past fall cracking the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason singles rankings checking in at No. 118. She was the lone Missouri Valley Conference representative in the women’s national rankings.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Drake returns seven letterwinners from a squad that posted a 13-10 ledger last spring, including a 5-2 second-place showing in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Jordan Eggleston led Drake with 47 combined singles/doubles victories, while the Bulldogs also garnered combined win totals of 37, 37, 36, 30, 26 and 11 from Nell Boyd, Maddie Johnson, Klavdija Rebol, Mariel Ante, Lea Kozulic and Amanda Dick.

Boyd and Eggleston each registered a team-best 24 singles victories a year ago, while Eggleston and Rebol posted 23 and 22 doubles triumphs, respectively.

HOME COOKING
The Bulldogs own a 33-10 record in the Roger Knapp Tennis Center since 2011 in dual matches.

DRAKE HEAD COACH SADHAF PERVEZ
Sadhaf Pervez, an assistant coach with eight years collegiate coaching experience, including the 2012-13 campaign at Princeton, is in her first year as head women’s tennis coach at Drake after being named to the position on July 9, 2013.

This past fall she helped guide the Bulldogs to 98 combined singles/doubles victories, including 60 in singles action.  Drake players captured 14 titles, including eight in singles and six in doubles competition, respectively.

Sophomores Mariel Ante and Maddie Johnson earned five championships apiece for Drake, while junior Nell Boyd and sophomore Jordan Eggleston each registered four titles.

In singles action, the Bulldogs were paced by 14, 13, 12 and 12 triumphs, respectively, from Johnson, Ante, Boyd and Eggleston.

In doubles, Eggleston and Boyd led Drake with 16 doubles wins, while adding 13, 13 and 10 victories, respectively, were Johnson, Ante and senior Klavdija Rebol.

Johnson captured the No. 5 singles crown at the Missouri Valley Conference Individuals en route to collecting a No. 118 national ranking in the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason rankings.  Johnson was the lone women’s tennis player in the MVC to be rated nationally.

Boyd and Eggleston earned the No. 2 doubles title at the MVC Individuals to become the first Drake women’s tennis doubles tandem to win a championship at the annual league championship since 2002.

Pervez came to Drake after spending the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach at Princeton.  She helped mentor three Tigers to All-Ivy League accolades this spring, including Lindsay Graff, who was tabbed a first-team All-Ivy selection in singles.

Freshman Amanda Muliawan captured the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional singles crown last fall under Pervez’s tutelage, becoming the first-ever Princeton women’s tennis player to do so and by virtue of the triumph earn a berth in the ITA National Indoor Championships.

Pervez also contributed to the signing of the nation’s No. 7 recruiting class as chosen by TennisRecruiting.net.

She previously served from 2005-11 as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Ohio State, as well as a one-year stint at Nebraska (2004-05).

During her tenure at Ohio State, she helped the Buckeyes reach the NCAA Tournament three times (2008, 2009 and 2010), including earning a 4-1 victory over DePaul in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

The Buckeyes established a school record for victories as well as achieving a school-record No. 17 ITA ranking during the 2010 campaign.

During her playing career at Ohio State from 1999-2003, she accumulated 190 combined singles/double victories en route to earning first-team All-Big Ten accolades as a senior in 2003.

The Buckeyes qualified for the NCAA Tournament during each of her four seasons in Columbus and posted the school’s first-ever tournament victory, 5-3, over the University of Miami in 2000.

She is third and fifth, respectively, in Buckeye’ women’s tennis history in singles (99) and doubles (91) wins.

A native of Warren, New Jersey, Pervez graduated from The Ohio State University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing.

UP NEXT
Drake will have more than a week off before beginning a stretch of four matches in seven days at Missouri on March 16.

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