After collecting several trophies in their previous appearance on the season, the Milwaukee women’s tennis team continued their success over the weekend, competing at the Gopher Invitational in Minnesota.
Beginning on Friday, Freshman Laurie Clark immediately picked up where she left off, claiming several wins in her singles “C” bracket. She earned her opening win convincingly with a 6-4, 6-1 victory of SIU-Edwardsville’s S. Halverson. Clark then advanced to play the top seed of the bracket, Minnesota’s Bergmann, whom Clark dispatched 6-4, 6-4.
Competing in the “A” singles flight, both junior Hayley Marshall and sophomore Labina Petrovska dropped their first matches in straight sets, but Petrovska was able to recover in the consolation bracket, earning a come from behind win, 5-7, 6-4, 10-2.
Senior Dana Shannon and junior Arielle Pendleton took the court in the “B” singles flight, but both suffered first round, straight set losses. Both Shannon and Pendleton would drop their first matches in the consolation brackets.
Joining Clark in the “C” bracket, freshman Masha Lobanova and junior Alysa Straub would drop their first matches in straight sets. Lobanova would receive a bye in her consolation bracket.
Doubles would turn out to be a greater success for the Panthers, lead by Marshall and Petrovska. The pair earned convincing victories over Air Force and ISU.
Shannon and Lobanova would also claim two straight wins, beating University of North Dakota 6-0, while taking a tiebreak set 7-6(5) over ISU’s paring of Bender and Toledo.
Clark and Straub would suffer an opening match defeat, and drop their remaining match in their section.
Capitalizing on her strong play the previous day, Clark followed up her victory over the top seed with a three set victory over Northern Illinois University’s E. Youle, taking the match 1-6, 6-1, 10-5. She then powered her way into the bracket final with a win over South Dakota State’s M. Brower, who defeated Lobanova in the first round, 7-5, 6-0 to reach the championship match.
Competing in the first consolation bracket, Lobanova dropped her first match in straight sets, but picked up a win, 7-5, 6-4, over SDSU’s Gabb.
In the “B” flight consolation, Shannon picked up a win before dropping her next match. Pendleton would drop her match in the same part of the draw.
Meanwhile in the top flight consolation, Petrovska picked up two straight set wins, 7-5, 6-2 over University of North Dakota, and 6-4, 6-1 over University of South Dakota.
Shannon and Marshall would pair up for doubles, claiming a convincing opening win, 6-2, before dropping their next match against Air Force in a tiebreak, 6-7(2).
Petrovska and Straub claimed their first match win, before falling against SDSU, 3-6. Clark and Lobanova would drop their match 3-6, before winning the consolation match over league rivals Green Bay, 6-1.
Competing in her second final is as many tournaments, Clark was unable to get over the hurdle, as she was defeated in straight sets SIEU’s Morgan Steffes, 3-6, 2-6. Clark went 4-1 throughout the weekend, placing second in the 32-player draw.
Lobanova was able to claim her final win in the “C” flight consolation bracket, claiming 21st place with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 victory over Green Bay.
Clark then teamed up with Shannon for doubles play, dropping their first match against USD, before beating NIU 6-1. Marshall and Petrovska earned a straightforward victory, 6-2 over USD, before falling to ISU 2-6. Straub and Lobanova also dropped their first match before coming back to win over Green Bay, 6-2.
Overall, coach Maddy Soule was pleased with the performances over the weekend, despite some minor setbacks.
“We are battling some injuries but that isn’t too worrisome at this point as the fall is dedicated to getting players ready for spring,” Soule said.
Soule said that the team is playing better than she expected, especially the newcomers to the team.
“The players who were able to compete did incredibly well,” Soule said. The freshmen and transfer (student) are proving their worth every practice and match that we play. I am very happy with the way things are going and the dynamic the team shares.”
Milwaukee claimed 22 wins throughout the weekend against many of the best programs throughout the Midwest, continuing a phenomenal start to their season.
The Panthers will travel down the Chicago over the weekend for their next tournament, held by conference opponent UIC, Friday and Saturday, October 2-3.