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    Feb. 1, 2013

    MILWAUKEE – Junior Natalia Kuvakina was able to fend off Rocio Diaz to capture No. 2 singles, but the UIC women’s tennis team (0-1) could not outlast Marquette on Friday at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium, falling to the Golden Eagles 6-1 in its season opener.

    Marquette took the first point of the evening after winning all three doubles matches.  Haley Craig and Mariana Palacios were positioned at No. 1 against Ali Dawson and Diaz, where the duo fell 8-3. 

    Kuvakina and Kathryn Sharples faced Ana Pimienta and Erin Gebes at No. 2, and Jana Knoppe and Keti Mebuke took on Aina Hernandez Soler and Aleeza Kanner at No. 3, with both matches ending in 8-0 finals.

    The Flames took one-of-six matches into singles, with Kuvakina coming away with the lone win.  In facing Diaz at No. 2, Kuvakina ended the match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.  Palacios, at No. 3 against Dawson, fought into three sets, taking the first before falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

    Craig competed at No. 1 against Pimienta, where she was defeated 6-4, 6-2.  After taking her first set to 7-5, Sharples put up a fight at No. 4 against Gebes before dropping a 7-5, 6-4 decision, as Knoppe went down to Laia Hernandez Soler, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 5 and Mebuke fell to Kanner, 6-3, 7-6, at No. 6.

    The Flames compete in their first home match of the season on Sunday, hosting Chicago at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith, Ind., at 10 a.m. (CT).


    Marquette 6, UIC 1
    Singles
    1. Ana Pimienta (MU) def. Haley Craig (UIC) 6-4, 6-2
    2. Natalia Kuvakina (UIC) def. Rocio Diaz (MU) 6-4, 6-4
    3. Ali Dawson (MU) def. Mariana Palacios (UIC) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
    4. Erin Gebes (MU) def. Kathryn Sharples (UIC) 7-5, 6-4
    5. Laia Hernandez Soler (MU) def. Jana Knoppe (UIC) 6-1, 6-0
    6. Aleeza Kanner (MU) def. Keti Mebuke (UIC) 6-3, 7-6

    Doubles
    1. Ali Dawson/Rocio Diaz (MU) def. Haley Craig/Mariana Palacios (UIC) 8-3
    2. Ana Pimienta/Erin Gebes (MU) def. Natalia Kuvakina/Kathryn Sharples (UIC) 8-0
    3. Aina Hernandez Soler/Aleeza Kanner (MU) def. Jana Knoppe/Keti Mebuke (UIC) 8-0