April 22, 2012
CHICAGO – The UIC women’s tennis team (16-3/8-0 HL) ended its regular season in record-breaking fashion on Sunday at the Flames Outdoor Tennis Courts. With a 4-3 defeat over No. 75 Akron (21-3/7-1 MAC), the Flames captured their first win over a nationally-ranked team in program history, all while marking a program-best 14-match win streak, a record previously set in 1979 with 11 wins in a row.
“This was an excellent victory for our program,” head coach Shannon Tully said. “After completing Horizon League play yesterday, I knew it would be tough to grind through one more match. However, we took advantage of the opportunity to be a strong Akron team on our home turf. Haley Craig, Jana Knoppe and Elisa Simonetti stepped up big to pull out their singles matches and get us the victory. It was just a great day and I am so proud of my players.”
UIC was able to come away with the first point of the day after taking two-of-three matches in doubles. Jana Knoppe and Linda Hricistova came out strong at No. 3 to take down Ksenia Berestetska and Natalia Kuvakina, 8-3, as Teona Tsertsvadze and Elisa Simonetti collected their 11th win in a row with a close 9-7 defeat over Angelina Jogasuria and Olga Shkundina at No. 2. Mariya Kovaleva and Haley Craig put up a fight at No. 1, but were unable to outlast Angelika Jogasuria and Prang Pantusart, falling 8-5.
It was a tight battle in singles, as both teams took three matches. Craig was able to capture the win at No. 3 after her second set went into a tiebreaker with Angelina Jogasuria, 7-5, 7-6 (4), while Simonetti came out of her first-set tiebreaker to top Berestetska, 7-6 (2), 6-3, at No. 4. Knoppe came back from going down in her first set at No. 5, ultimately taking the match after a high-scoring third against Angelika Jogasuria, 3-6, 6-4, 13-11.
Tsertsvadze took her match with Pantusart to three sets after capturing the second, but fell 7-5, 5-7, 10-5. Ending their matches in 6-3, 6-2 decisions, Kovaleva fell to Shkundina at No. 1 and Sharples lost to Kuvakina at No. 6.
Next up for the Flames is the Horizon League Championship, April 27-29 in Indianapolis, where they are positioned at the No. 1 seed and are aiming to collect their 16th consecutive title.
UIC 4, Akron 3
1. Angelika Jogasuria/Pantusart (AKRON) def. Kovaleva/Craig (UIC) – 8-5
2. Tsertsvadze/Simonetti (UIC) def. Angelina Jogasuria/Shkundina (AKRON) – 9-7
3. Knoppe/Hricistova (UIC) def. Berestetska/Kuvakina (AKRON) – 8-3
1. Olga Shkundina (AKRON) def. Mariya Kovaleva (UIC) – 6-3, 6-2
2. Prang Pantusart (AKRON) def. Teona Tsertsvadze (UIC) – 7-5, 5-7, 10-5
3. Haley Craig (UIC) def. Angelina Jogasuria (AKRON) – 7-5, 7-6 (4)
4. Elisa Simonetti (UIC) def. Ksenia Berestetska (AKRON) – 7-6 (2), 6-3
5. Jana Knoppe (UIC) def. Angelika Jogasuria (AKRON) – 3-6, 6-4, 13-11
6. Natalia Kuvakina (AKRON) def. Kathryn Sharples (UIC) – 6-3, 6-2