From Staff reports
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Northeastern State women’s tennis team lost a close 5-4 match with No. 25 Southwest Baptist Saturday afternoon at the Cooper Tennis Complex.
The Bearcats (13-0, 7-0 MIAA) won all three doubles matches and claimed two singles wins to remain undefeated. The RiverHawks (13-2, 5-1 MIAA) took four singles points and saw their 12-match win streak halted.
“This match was a big test for us,” NSU coach Amanda Stone said. “Overall, we stacked up well against Southwest Baptist. Winning four of the six singles matches sent a message that we’re right with them, but we just have to find a way to overtake them on the doubles court. I don’t foresee us being swept in doubles if we saw them again.”
SBU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after Fanni Varga and Christina Zentai defeated senior Ivana Belejova and freshman Kristina Savchenkov 8-3 on the top doubles court.
Mehak Singh and Andjela Panovski added to the lead with an 8-1 win over junior Martina Bruzikova and sophomore Barbora Jirickova at the third court, and the Bearcats completed the doubles sweep with an 8-5 win from Adrienn Kovacs and Faiga Schmidt over the junior duo of Jeanne Mallem and Houda Bellamine on the middle court.
Northeastern State quickly got on the board when Panovski was pulled from singles action, giving Jirickova the point on the sixth court by way of forfeit.
Varga, ranked No. 30 in the nation in singles, defeated Belejova 6-1, 6-0 on the top singles court. Zentai gave SBU the team victory after she defeated Mallem 6-2, 6-1 from the third position.
Despite trailing 5-1, the RiverHawks battled back and captured the final three courts. Savchenkov took down Singh 6-1, 6-4 on the second court, and Bruzikova defeated Schmidt 6-2, 6-0 from the fifth position.
Bellamine ended the match with a 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 1-0 (10-5) victory over Kovacs on the fourth court.
Northeastern State returns home for a 2 p.m. match March 26 with Arkansas Tech University.