|Redbirds conclude regular season strong|
|Written by Kevin Powell, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 23 April 2012 10:55|
Prior to this past weekend, the ISU women’s tennis team knew they had its work cut out for themselves in the Redbirds’ final stint before the Missouri Valley Conference Championships.
“We’re facing another tough weekend of play,” ISU head coach Chris Hoover said in preparation for the weekend’s two matches. “We lost to both SIU and Evansville last year, so the team is looking forward to a chance to play against them.
The Redbirds were able to get revenge, though, when they won both matches, improving their overall record to 11-11, and 5-2 in the MVC.
ISU 5, SIU 2
ISU got the ball rolling when it downed Southern Illinois, 5-2, Saturday.
The ’Birds took the doubles points when they won 2-of-3 matches with senior Hannah Esker and Stefanie Youngberg winning 8-3 in the No. 3 spot.
Ariane Maack and Phyllis Tigges beat their opponent, 8-2, while Aniko Kiss and Emmie Marx lost in the No. 1 spot.
“Doubles was great today,” Esker said. “It’s great to win that point and start singles with the positive momentum.”
Esker also dominated her singles match with a 6-2, 6-0, victory in the No. 6 spot.
Tigges took her match against Jennifer Dien in the No. 3 spot, 7-6, 6-1. Kiss beat Melanie Delsart, 6-4, 6-3, and Carolina Abello won her match, 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, in a tie-breaker in the No. 4 slot.
“Today was a great win for the team,” Hoover said. “After losing in such a close match last year, it was nice to turn it around and post a win this year. The whole team did well, especially Hannah and Aniko. In these last matches of their senior year, they’ve been really proving what an asset they are to the team.”
ISU 5, Evansville 2
The Redbirds won their final match of the season when they beat the Purple Aces, 5-2, Sunday.
Kiss and Marx started off the day by beating Natasha James and Dora Kotsiou, 8-3, in doubles.
Heather Nisbet made her Missouri Valley Conference play appearance when she teamed up with Maack to take down Emily Richardson and Kelsey Costales, 8-4.
“Evansville is a tough team to beat,” Nisbet said. “They play a solid game. I was a little nervous going in, having not competed on the conference level this spring, but Ariane is a great partner. We went in confident of our abilities, stayed competitive, and pulled out the win.”
In singles play, Esker beat Costales, 6-2, 6-1, in the No. 6 spot, and Youngberg won her match in the No. 5 flight, 6-2, 6-3.
Carolina Abello also posted a victory with a win over Mina Milovic, 6-2, 6-1.
Marx sealed the victory for the Redbirds when she won her match in a tie-breaker, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
The Redbirds will compete in the State Farm MVC Championships in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday. The ’Birds will enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed and will play on Friday at 1:00 p.m.