Taking a shorter trip down to Chicago, the Milwaukee women’s tennis team competed at at the UIC invitational, hosted by fellow Horizon League school UIC last weekend.
Milwaukee had a successful Friday, with five players on the team collecting at least one win. The Panthers were led, yet again, by freshman Laurie Clark. Clark, who competed in the Flames Bracket, won her first match in straight sets, taking the first in a tiebreak before steamrolling to a 7-6(1), 6-1 victory. Clark followed it up with a tough three set win, eventually prevailing over NIU, 6-2, 6-7, 7-4.
Also competing in that bracket was junior Hayley Marshall, who opened her draw with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 win. Marshall would be unable to back it up, dropping her next match to UIC in the third set, 6-3, 4-6, 7-10.
Sophomore Labina Petrovska played in the Gold Flight, but was outplayed by her opponent from NIU, falling in straight sets 4-6, 4-6.
In the Blue Flight, junior Alysa Straub opened with a strong 6-3, 6-3 win, but couldn’t continue outlast her next opponent, dropping the third set tiebreak for a 6-4, 1-6, 4-10 defeat.
The Red Flight contained two Panthers, junior Aerielle Pendleton at the top of the draw, and freshman Masha Lobanova. Pendleton would take her first match swiftly without dropping a game, 6-0, 6-0. Lobanova would be unable to match her teammates performance, dropping her match in straight sets. Pendleton would falter in her next match, falling 4-6, 2-6 to NIU.
Only one doubles team was able to secure a win, with Lobanova and senior Dana Shannon racing to a 6-0 win over league opponents from Valparaiso.
Playing in her third tournament final in as many tournaments, Clark yet again was unable to get over the last hurdle. Clark fell in the final match to home player Melika Leblanc. Leblanc took the match 6-3, 6-2.
Marshall was able to secure 4th place in the same bracket, falling in the consolation final 4-6, 2-6 to NIU.
In the Blue Flight consolation, Straub was able to sneak away with a 3rd place finish. Straub beat NIU in a third set tiebreak, claiming a 6-1, 2-6, 10-6 victory.
Pendleton was also able to place 3rd in her bracket, with a convincing 6-4, 6-0 win over Bowling Green State University of Ohio.
Doubles wasn’t as fortunate as singles.
The pairing of Lobanova and Shannon, who claimed the only doubles win the day before, dropped a hard fought set, barely missing out in a tiebreak, 6-7(6).
Both of the other teams were able to secure wins in their consolations brackets, however. Marshall and Clark beat Valparaiso 6-4, while Petrovska and Straub swept past NIU 6-2.
Milwaukee will participate in its last tournament of the fall season in two weeks. The Panthers will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to compete in the ITA Regionals Oct. 22-25.