The ISU women’s tennis team fell to Southern Illinois, 5-2 in the last spring match of the season. The Redbirds finish the season at 9-9 overall and 2-4 in the MVC.
Not only were the matches on Saturday the last for the Redbirds this regular season, it was also the last for five senior players on the team. Those graduating seniors are Phyllis Tigges, Carolina Abello, Gabriella Phillips, and twins Ashton Nisbet and Heather Nisbet.
Kadi Ilves and Tigges were the only women to record points during the matches on Saturday. Ilves earned her point in the singles No. 4 position where she rallied Polina Dozortseva, 4-6, 7-6 and 10-8 in a third-set tie-breaker. Tigges played in the singles No. 1 position where she beat Natasha Tomishima, 6-1 and 6-1.
Sierra Stone lost to Lee of SIU in the No. 2 match, 4-6, 6-3 and 10-5 and Monaghan beat Abello 6-4 and 6-4 in the No. 3 match. In the No. 5 matchup, A. Cairo Baza of SIU defeated Phillips, 6-1 and 6-2 and in the final singles match, Gisela Cairo Baza beat H. Nisbet, 6-3 and 6-3.
In their last regular season match as partners, duo Tigges and Madeliene Baillon fought hard to record an undefeated season in the No. 1 doubles position. They started off slow but charged back to tie at 6-6 before Baillon became ill, forcing the Redbirds to forfeit the No. 1 position.
“It was a tough day for us and nobody anticipated what was going to happen to Madie. Everybody stepped up nicely and did a nice job fighting,” head coach Chris Hoover said.
“The match wasn’t decided until we were about finished and I think we had a really good shot at it right up until the end.”
In the No. 2 and 3 doubles matches, Anita Lee and Korey Love beat Emmie Marx and Stone, 8-4 and Cairo Baza and Dozortseva of SIU defeated H. Nisbet and Ilves, 8-4.
The Illinois State women also played on Friday, hosting Evansville. In the first home outdoor match of the year, the Illinois State women defeated MVC opponent Evansville 6-1, in ISU’s fifth MVC match of the spring season. In the No. 1 position, Tigges lost to Trousilova, 7-6 (0), 6-2 and Marx defeated Moreno, 6-1 and 7-5 in the No. 2 match.
In the next match, Stone beat Costales, 6-3 and 6-3 and Abello of ISU edged Brguljan, 6-7 (5) 7-5 and 10-8. To end the singles matches, Baillon defeated Milovic, 6-0 and 6-1 in the fifth match and finally Ilves won the match by forfeit in the sixth position.
“What we need to do now is focus on getting healthy so we can give it our all at the championships this weekend,” Hoover said.
This week, the Redbirds will host the MVC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships in Normal, beginning on Friday, April 25. The times for play to begin has yet to be determined.