Women’s tennis splits contests

The women’s tennis team (2-8) came out victorious in its meet Friday against Grand Canyon, 4-3, but fell to Illinois State, 4-3, Sunday. 

After winning the doubles point, the Flames tallied three wins in singles Friday by senior Jana Knoppe, junior Keti Mebuke and freshman Veronica Lacerda.

The first point of the day went to UIC after seniors Mariana Palacios and Natalia Kuvakina defeated Priscilla Annoual and Tatum Prudhomme, 8-6, at No. 1.

Senior Kathryn Sharples and Knoppe took an 8-4 win against Janaki Gunuganti and Frederique Van de Velde at
No. 2.

Mebuke and Lacerda’s match at No. 3 went unfinished after the point was decided.

The Flames produced three wins in singles to clinch the win over the Antelopes.

Knoppe won her singles match versus Van de Velde, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 4. Mebuke came back in her third set to best Silvia Tumova, 6-1, 5-7, 7-5, at No. 5 and Lacerda won No. 6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 versus Raquel Gonzales.

Sharples took her match at No. 3 against Gunuganti to three sets but ultimately fell, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (3). Palacios fell to Annoual, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1, as Kuvakina was retired in her match at No. 2 by Prudhomme.

In Sunday’s match, Knoppe and Lacerda won their matches in singles and the Flames picked up the doubles point with a pair of wins.

UIC came out in doubles and took the first point. Knoppe and Sharples defeated Emmie Marx and Carolina Abello, 8-6, at No. 2, while Lacerda and Mebuke captured an 8-4 win over Ashton Nisbet and Heather Nisbet at No. 3.

Illinois State collected the win at No. 1, as Palacios and Kuvakina fell to Phyllis Tigges and Kadi Ilves, 8-2.

In singles, Knoppe won her sixth-consecutive match with a straight-set 7-5, 6-3 victory over Abello at No. 3, where she was positioned for the first time this season. Lacerda beat H. Nisbet, 7-5, 6-2, at No. 4.

The Flames ultimately defaulted in what would have been the deciding match at No. 6, as they were without a player.

Despite the loss, Palacios put up a strong fight at No. 1 against Tigges, taking her to three sets before dropping a 6-3, 5-7, 10-6 decision.

Sharples, at No. 2, also went to three sets against Marx but fell in a 0-6, 6-4, 10-5 final. Mebuke suffered a 6-4, 7-5 loss at No. 4 to Ilves.

The Flames go on a short break before resuming action at noon March 8 versus Wisconsin at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.

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