Feb. 16, 2014
WMU 5, UIC 2
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The UIC women’s tennis team (1-7) came up short in its match against Western Michigan on Sunday at West Hills Athletic Club as it dropped a 5-2 decision. For the fourth-consecutive meet, senior Jana Knoppe won her match in singles, as junior Keti Mebuke also collected a victory for the Flames against the Broncos.
UIC was unable to collect a win in doubles, as Western Michigan picked up all three positions for the first point. Mariana Palacios and Natalia Kuvakina fell to Caroline Aleck and Kathleen Hawkins, 6-1, at No. 1, Knoppe and Kathryn Sharples suffered a 6-2 loss at No. 2 to Meika Ashby and Yuriko Ono, and Mebuke and Veronica Lacerda went down at No. 3 to Nini Sujashvili and Tracy Kuhle, 6-3.
The Flames claimed two wins in singles, but it was not enough to come back against the Broncos. Knoppe went into the tiebreaker against Aleck at No. 4, where she claimed a 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) victory, and Mebuke took down Kelsey King, 6-3, 6-2, in straight sets at No. 5.
Palacios fell to Sujashvili, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 1, while Kuvakina was retired by No. 117 Hawkins at No. 2. Sharples put up a fight against Ashby at No. 3 but dropped a 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 decision, while Lacerda was defeated by Kuhle, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 6.
UIC will try to turn it around as it prepares to host a pair of matches at Match Point Tennis next weekend. The Flames will face Grand Canyon on Friday at 11 a.m. CT before going up against Illinois State on Sunday, Feb. 23, at noon.