LAS VEGAS — In its first outdoor match of the spring season, Illinois State’s women’s tennis team fell to 2-3 overall after being swept, 7-0, by No. 49 UNLV Friday at Fertitta Tennis Center. The Rebels improved their overall record to 4-2.
“This match was a tough test for us,” said head coach Chris Hoover. “We are not used to playing outside. So, we really had to adjust to that factor today.”
The contest started with the doubles matchups where Franziska Steinhardt and Julia Zubkova were looking for their third-straight doubles win. The Redbird duo stayed with UNLV with the score tied 5-5, but they were ultimately undefeated by UNLV’s Kristina Nedeltcheva and Katy Williams, 8-5, in Flight 1 doubles, clinching UNLV’s swept of the doubles point.
In Flight 2 doubles play, the pairing of Tanja Hrovatic and Natalia Lech fell to UNLV’s Anna Maskaljun and Alisa Razina, 8-4, and despite excellent play at the net, Hannah Esker and Carmen Peters were unable to beat UNLV’s Rumyana Terzieva and Nikol Dimitrova, falling, 8-2, in Flight 3.
Peters faced UNLV’s Adrienn Hidvegi in a rematch of the fall’s UNLV Invitational in singles. However, Hidvegi bested Peters, 6-1, 6-1, in Flight 5 singles.
In Flight 1 singles, Zubkova fell to Nedeltcheva, 6-2, 6-2, bringing her singles dual record to 3-2. UNLV clinched the fourth point for the win in the Flight 2 singles after Dimitrova defeated Illinois State’s Steinhardt, 6-2, 6-2.
UNLV continued its dominate play in the rest of the singles with Lech falling, 6-3, 6-3, to Williams in Flight 3, Maskaljun besting ISU’s Hrovatic, 7-5, 6-1, in Flight 4 and Esker falling, 6-2, 6-2, in Flight 6.
“There was not one zero on the box score,” said Hoover. “It definitely shows that we can play with a ranked team like UNLV. However, UNLV was just better on the court today. We fought hard, and I think this match is good preparation for UC Riverside and Utah State the rest of the weekend.”
The Redbirds continue play Saturday against UC Riverside at 10 a.m. at UNLV’s Fertitta Tennis Complex.