Redbirds Fall to No. 15 Nebraska, 6-1
Feb. 15, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb.-The Illinois State Women's tennis team (3-2, 0-0 MVC) was defeated by Nebraska (8-1, 1-0 Big Ten), Friday, Feb. 15 in Lincoln, Neb.
Despite initially playing well, the Redbirds were first swept in doubles play, dropping all three matches before beginning singles. In singles play Stefanie Youngberg was able to defeat Izabella Zgierska, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6), ending the match at a score of, 6-1 and avoiding the sweep.
Head coach Chris Hoover believes there are many positive lessons to be learned in competitions like these.
"Tonight is what it is. Nebraska is No. 15 in the nation and I think there is a difference between a team like them and a team like us," Hoover said. "But we come out and play these types of matches every year and slowly but surely we are closing the gap in the competition."
After commanding doubles play during the last three competitions against Butler, Eastern Illinois and IUPUI, the Redbirds were caught off guard by the onslaught of the Huskers and conceded the point in doubles for only the second time this season. The team seemed to lose momentum as Carolina Abello and Heather Nisbet were quickly defeated by Zgierska and Maike Zeppernick, 8-0.
Singles began with a, 1-0 Nebraska lead. Play started after a brief intermission and things continued to go wrong for the Redbirds. The team came out hard and lost all but one singles match.
After all of the other matches had finished and the team result had been decided, Youngberg remained on the court, battling Nebraska's Zgierska. Youngberg came out sharp capturing the first set, 6-2 as Zgierska countered capturing the second set, 6-3. In the final set, Youngberg made a stand and ultimately defeated Zgierska, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6).
"Stefanie (Youngberg) played well obviously, but many of the matches were much closer than the final scores reflected," said Hoover. "Kadi (Ilves) had a shot at a set and Gabby (Phillips) played well also. Gabby (Phillips) was nearly the last person off the court and the score does not show how well she played tonight."
Youngberg has played with determination in the spring season after taking second place in a close match at the Missouri Valley Individual Championships in the fall. Youngberg holds an overall singles record of 13-5 and stands alone as the team's only senior.
The team will remain in Lincoln, Neb. tonight to take on Colorado State on Saturday, Feb. 16. The match against Illinois State marks the second competition of the spring season for Colorado State who was last defeated by in-state rival Colorado, 6-1. The match is set to begin at 11 a.m. CT.
On Sunday, Feb. 17, the team will travel to Omaha, Neb., to battle conference rival Creighton. The Jays have lost the previous two matches and were last defeated by Iowa, 7-0.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.