The Illinois State women’s tennis team spent the weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., where they concluded the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Midwest Regional Tournament, with one advancement to the consolation qualifying singles.
Emmie Marx, who competed in the qualifier for this tournament last year, was promoted into the main draw this year. Marx was defeated by a player from Northwestern University
“Northwestern is one of the top teams in our region,” ISU head coach Chris Hoover said. “I thought she played well and represented us well.”
Fellow Redbird Kadi Ilves lost in the first round to Emily Reuland of Bowling Green University. However, she quickly bounced back and bested Nicole Flower of Ohio State in the first round of consolation qualifying singles matches.
Phyllis Tigges, who had a first round bye, fell to her competitor from DePaul University in qualifying singles.
“We just didn’t play well,” Hoover said. “I would say most of our problem is in our returns.”
The overall champion of the tournament in the doubles main draw was a pair from the University of Michigan.
Coming out of this weekend, coach Hoover is intent on improving the team’s ability to return serves, although he feels the team’s serving is consistent.
“The fall [season] has shown us that we could have a pretty good team this year,” Hoover said. “I am cautiously optimistic and excited for the rest of this year and I hope the girls are too.”
Missing from Ann Arbor were Madeliene Baillon and Heather Nisbet, who were at Northern Illinois University competing in the Second Chance Regionals.
Baillon advanced over her Green Bay opponent into the Singles A consolation finals, but was defeated by Kirsa Utech of Chicago State University.
Nisbet was defeated by another Chicago State player in the Singles B Semifinals.
As a pair, Baillon and Nisbet competed in Doubles A and placed third overall.
“It was a good way to end the fall for some of our kids,” Hoover said.
The ITA Midwest Regional marks the end of the fall season for the Redbirds. They will continue competing in the spring, beginning with a match on Jan. 24 against Eastern Illinois University.
“Our coach Cami [Hubbs] always says that the great thing about tennis is that it’s never over,” Baillon said. “You always have a chance to come back.”