Women's Tennis Opens With 4-3 Victory Over Eastern Illinois
Jan. 26, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State women's tennis team jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but was forced to withstand a furious Eastern Illinois rally to earn a 4-3 victory in the team's opener on Friday at the Evergreen Racquet Club. With the match tied at 3-3, junior Carolyne Parent defeated EIU's Hayley Homburg 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) to secure the match for the Redbirds.
"Tonight was a very tough match for us," head coach Chris Hoover said. "We showed some early season jitters against a much improved Eastern Illinois team. Carolyne (Parent) showed a lot of composure helping us capture the final match of the night."
The Redbirds (1-0) jumped ahead 1-0 to begin the match by claiming the doubles point.
ISU's team of Parent and sophomore Megan Rozboril took home the Redbirds' first match of the day by defeating EIU's Sam Lininger and Stephanie Harmazy, 8-3, at the No. 3 doubles position. The Panthers rallied to even the doubles victories at one each when Homburg and Natalie Martin outlasted the Redbird duo of sophomore Tanja Hrovatic and freshman Julia Zubkova, 8-5, at the No. 2 spot in the lineup.
With the doubles point on the line, Illinois State's No. 1 doubles team of senior Katri Miller and junior Véronique Parke-Bédard held on to beat EIU's Madina Mambetova and Sandra Sasidharan 8-6 to give the `Birds the early advantage.
As the match moved to singles action, the Redbirds quickly increased their lead to 2-0 when Park-Bédard, playing at the No. 4 position, blanked Harmazy, 6-0, 6-0. Hrovatic, a transfer from New Orleans, pushed the Redbird lead to 3-0 by sweeping Lininger, 6-0, 6-3.
The Panthers (0-1) responded by winning the next three matches at the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots in the lineup, forcing the decisive final match at No. 5 slot. EIU got on the board first when Sasidharan upended Miller, 7-5, 6-1. Martin followed suit by defeating Zubkova 6-3, 7-5, while Mambetova turned back freshman Jeanelle Stines, 7-6 (12-10), 6-1.
With the match on the line, Parent quickly took the first set 6-3, before outlasting Homburg 7-6, 10-8 in the tiebreaker.
"It was a tough match throughout, but I always felt that I had the upper hand," Parent said. "I had great focus during my match which helped me block out a lot of pressure."
The Redbirds continue their four-match homestand on Fri., Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. when they take on Butler at the ERC.
Illinois State 4, Eastern Illinois 3 (Bloomington, Ill. - Jan. 26, 2007)