Redbirds Advance Three to Singles Semi-Finals
Oct. 7, 2011
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Illinois State kicked off the first day of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships on Friday by advancing three players to the semi-final rounds in singles play. Phyllis Tigges, Heather Nisbet, and Aniko Kiss, who maintains an undefeated singles record, all advanced to the next round on Saturday.
Kiss began singles play for the Redbirds by defeating Klavdija Rebol of Drake, 6-3, 6-4, and Tigges beat Adele Henkey of Bradley, 6-2, 6-0. Heather Nisbet also beat Jess Raatz of Evansville, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1.
Coach Hoover was looking forward to the team building on these successes and continuing to improve over the rest of the weekend.
"The good news is that we advanced three student-athletes to the semi-finals," said Hoover. "We're accustomed to quite a bit more than just advancing in three rounds here at Illinois State, and we're capable of playing better for the rest of the weekend." The Redbirds stumbled during doubles play and were unable to advance any teams to the semi-finals. Aniko Kiss and Phyllis Tigges fell in a close match in the first round of flight one doubles to Kirshenbaum and Snyder of Creighton, 9-8. Rebol and Lauer of Drake bested Hannah Esker and Heather Nisbet, 8-3. Gabby Phillips and Stefanie Youngberg lost to Lee and Simons of Southern Illinois, 8-2.
The team bounced back after an initial set-back in singles. Esker fell to Jessi Aguilera of Drake, 6-4, 6-4, in the first round of the day, but later went on to beat Jessica Kunzelmann of Northern Iowa, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6). Cassandra Dix of Northern Iowa bested Youngberg in three close sets, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, but Youngberg made a comeback by defeating Carly Miles of Bradley, 6-1, 6-3. Ashton Nisbet lost to Southern Illinois's Ana Simons, 6-0, 6-1, but finished the day by overpowering Kelsey Edens of Evansville, 5-7, 6-2 (10-6). Anita Lee of Southern Illinois beat Gabby Phillips, 6-4, 6-3, who went on to lose to Krissy Lankelma of Northern Iowa, 6-4, 7-6 (7).
Thankfully, Coach Hoover has not lost faith in his team.
"Aniko, Phyllis and Heather will keep us alive," Hoover said. "I'm still planning on bringing home titles."
Play resumes Saturday morning on the Byrnes Park Tennis Center at Northern Iowa.
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