The Drake women's tennis squad continues its five-match road swing this Sunday (March 16) visiting Missouri for a 6:00 p.m. tilt versus the Tigers.
JOHNSON SELECTED AS MVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Missouri Valley Conference announced that Drake sophomore Maddie Johnson (Onalaska, Wis.) was recognized as the MVC Women's Tennis Player of the Week. The award marks the fourth weekly plaudit for a Bulldog this season and the third in Johnson's career.
Johnson posted a team-best 3-1 combined singles/doubles ledger in two matches to lead the Bulldogs to a 1-1 mark, including a 5-2 victory at Iowa State.
In Drake's 4-3 setback versus Iowa on March 5, Johnson registered a 6-4, 7-5 triumph at the No. 3 singles position over Shelby Talcott.
In the Bulldogs' 5-2 victory at Iowa State last Friday (March 7), their first triumph over the Cyclones since Jan. 31, 2004, Johnson collected an 8-3 win with senior Klavdija Rebol (Kranj, Slovenia) at No. 3 doubles, before besting Meghan Cassens at No. 3 singles, 7-5, 6-4.
BULLDOGS EARN 5-2 WIN AT IOWA STATE
In a match that lasted more than five hours, the then 72nd-rated Drake women's tennis team earned a 5-2 triumph past Iowa State last Friday (March 7) in Ames, Iowa.
The Bulldogs staked themselves to a 1-0 advantage in the in-state affair on the strength of claiming the doubles point with victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions.
Clinching the doubles tally for Drake with an 8-7 (4) triumph over Meghan Cassens and Ana Gasparovic was the No. 2 duo of junior Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and sophomore Jordan Eggleston (LaQuinta, Calif.).
Eggleston extended the Bulldogs' lead to 2-0 in singles besting Talisa Merchiers, 6-1, 6-4, on the No. 5 court.
The Cyclones cut the deficit to 2-1 with a 6-4, 6-4 victory by Ksenia Pronina over senior Klavdija Rebol at the No. 1 position.
Sophomore Mariel Ante's (Riverside, Calif.) 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 6-3 triumph past Samantha Budai on the No. 2 court gave the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead.
Clinching the match for Drake at No. 3 was sophomore Maddie Johnson, who edged Cassens, 7-5, 6-4.
Boyd capped the Bulldogs' victory total besting Gasparovic on the No. 4 court, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
DRAKE DROPS 4-3 DECISION VERSUS IOWA
Drake saw its seven-match winning streak snapped on March 5 as the Bulldogs dropped a hard-fought 4-3 decision versus Iowa at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
The doubles point proved to be the deciding tally in the affair as the Hawkeyes claimed victories at the Nos. 1 and 3 positions to assume a lead they didn't relinquish.
Iowa earned an 8-0 decision at the top spot before overcoming a 5-4 deficit on the No. 3 court to claim an 8-5 triumph and the doubles point.
The Bulldogs were in position for victory before the rally as the No. 2 tandem of Nell Boyd and Jordan Eggleston led their contest versus Ellen Silver and Katie Zordani, 7-1, when the doubles tally was clinched.
The Hawkeyes registered three unanswered triumphs in singles at the Nos. 1, 4 and 5 positions to garner the deciding point in the tilt.
The Bulldogs were undeterred and continued to battle as Maddie Johnson and Mariel Ante cut the deficit to 4-2 on the strength of their team-high 21st victories of the season.
Johnson bested Shelby Talcott at No. 3, 6-4, 7-5, while Ante downed Morven McCulloch at No. 2, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
Sophomore Lea Kozulic (Varazdin, Croatia) fought back to win a first-set tiebreaker against Silver on the No. 6 court, before completing the comeback with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 triumph.
IN OUR LAST MEETING
Missouri 4, Drake 3 (Feb. 20, 2009)
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Drake turned in a strong performance, but in the end it was Missouri that escaped with a 4-3 victory over the Bulldogs.
After being swept in doubles play, Drake garnered victories in three of the first five singles contests to square the match at three.
Veronika Leszayova bested Jessica Giuggioli at the No. 1 position, 6-2, 7-5, while Gabriela Demos registered a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory at the No. 2 slot.
Amanda Aragon accounted for Drake's other singles triumph netting a 6-1, 6-3 decision at No. 6.
With the tilt all squared at three, all attention shifted to the No. 5 singles court where Kaitlyn Ritchie withstood Kari Sloboth en route to clinching the match with a 7-6 (3), 6-0 win.
BULLDOGS CRACKS 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 poll released on March 4. The ranking was the first for the Bulldogs since being rated 75th on Feb. 13, 2002.
• The Bulldogs' win at Iowa State was their first over the Cyclones since Jan. 31, 2004, when Drake collected a 5-4 decision.
• During its seven-match winning streak Drake owned a 49-9 combined singles/doubles ledger, including a 35-7 record in singles action.
• Nell Boyd and Jordan Eggleston led the Bulldogs with 7-0 singles marks during the squad's winning streak, while Mariel Ante, Lea Kozulic, Maddie Johnson and Klavdija Rebol recorded 6-1, 6-1, 5-1 and 4-3 records, respectively.
• Sporting a 25-1 doubles mark this season, including 9-0 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 22 singles victories this season to pace the Bulldogs. Ante's 22 triumphs have established a career high, while Johnson is one win shy of surpassing her 22 victories last season.
• Boyd leads the Bulldogs with a 45-9 combined singles/doubles ledger. She is followed by Eggleston (42-12), Johnson (40-10), Ante (39-14), Rebol (23-16) and Kozulic (17-12).
• Johnson and Ante are each 9-1 in their last 10 singles contests, respectively.
• Drake has garnered four MVC Player of the Week honors this spring. Johnson (Jan. 28 and March 11) has garnered recognition twice, while Ante (March 4), Boyd (Feb. 25) have each won the award once.
• The Bulldogs are 2-1 against teams from the Big Ten Conference this season. Drake suffered a 4-3 home setback against Iowa on March 5 after previously besting Nebraska, 5-2, Feb. 28 in Lincoln, Neb., and Wisconsin, 4-3, 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 versus Colorado State, Boyd surpassed her career high for combined wins (41) set during the 2011-12 campaign. She now stands with a team-best 45-9 record.
• Rebol is tied with Manca Krizman (2009-12) for second at Drake in victories (since the 2006-07 campaign) with 126, 13 shy of equaling Gabriela Demos' (2008-12) 139 wins atop the list. She is also tied for third in career doubles triumphs (since 1990-91) with 70, one win away from surpassing 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 Missouri match with 64 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 .800 (44-11), .740 (37-13), .688 (44-20) and .634 (64-37) winning percentages, respectively. In doubles, Eggleston, Boyd, Johnson and Rebol highlight the top-four spots sporting .726 (45-17), .678 (59-28), .660 (33-17), .648 (70-38) and .640 (32-18) winning percentages.
• 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.
The Bulldogs own a 33-11 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.
The Bulldogs will travel to Rhode Island and Massachusetts for a trio of matches next week. Drake opens its road swing at Rhode Island (March 19) before facing Brown (March 20) and Boston University (March 22).