Conference Season Begins with Triumph
March 31, 2006
NORMAL, Ill. - Thanks to Illinois State's strong performance in doubles and singles, the Redbirds were able to shut down their Missouri Valley Conference in state rival Bradley in a 7-0 triumph.
As usual, the Redbirds opened up the match with a landslide of wins in all three double flights. The No. 3 match was the first to put the Redbirds 1-0 in doubles, as Nicole Schneider and Matea Simovic put away the competition in their 8-2 victory against Erin Krubeck and Jess Sampias.
In No. 2 doubles, Ashley Maxwell and Véronique Parke-Bédard fended off Terin Chan and Kim Braun for the 8-3 win. It was then up to the No. 1 pair of Katri Miller and Michelle Rabinovich to win the double's point for Illinois State. Fortunately, Rabinovich and Miller's athleticism on the courts earned them the 8-4 defeat over Ashley Morris and Elise Montrose and put the Redbirds up 1-0.
One by one the Redbirds gained a strong lead over the Braves. Maxwell's 6-2, 6-1 victory over Sampias gave the `Birds the first singles point in No 6 singles. Then Schneider's 6-3, 6-1 defeat against Krubeck in No. 6 singles gave the team a 3-0 lead in the match. It was then up to the remainder single matches to solidify the win.
Miller faced Morris in the No. 1 position and won in two straight sets 6-4, 6-2 which gave the Redbirds the 4-0 advantage. Head coach Chris Hoover believes Miller has improved in the last couple of matches.
"Katri is playing well and she is starting to remain a little calmer mentally and emotionally," said Hoover
Emilie Sechaud's aggressive play surpassed Chan's in No. 3 singles earning Sechaud the 6-3, 6-1 defeat. Parke-Bédard then defeated Montrose in three sets 7-6, 6-0, 7-0 putting the score at a dominating 7-0 over the Braves.
While the team left its courts with a win, Hoover believes the team can play better and improve.
"We are not particularly playing as well as we can," said Hoover. "All I can say is I'm glad we are playing matches, and we need to keep improving."
Illinois State will head on the road to continues its conference season against Indiana State on April 2, at 2 p.m.