NORMAL, Ill. — The Illinois State women’s tennis team (8-6) will try to extend its winning streak to four as it plays its first Missouri Valley Conference match of the 2009 season against Bradley Friday at 1 p.m. at Markin Tennis Courts in Peoria, Ill.
Redbird freshman Hannah Esker will also be looking to extend a winning streak of her own. She has won five-straight singles matches at No. 5 and eight-straight doubles matches at No. 3, along with partner Carmen Peters. Esker has gone undefeated (10-0) in both singles and doubles play in Illinois State’s last five matches.
Esker and teammate Tanja Hrovatic lead the Redbirds with overall dual singles records of 10-4.
“We are ready to begin conference play,” said head coach Chris Hoover. “I just want us to get off on the right foot against Bradley. We have been playing well in the last few matches. I want us to be able to continue that winning momentum into conference play. With a good match Friday (March 27), we can feel prepared to take on last year’s conference champions, Indiana State, at home Sunday (March 29).”
The Braves are 8-5 overall this season with a 0-1 Missouri Valley Conference record so far. The Braves lost their conference opener, 6-1, to Creighton in Omaha, Neb. The defeat concluded a six-match road trip for Bradley.
The Braves No. 1 doubles team of Emily Regenold and Nicole Miller have won 12-consecutive doubles matches together this season, while freshman Veronika Wojakowska is tied for fifth in all-time singles wins in Bradley history, with 15 so far this season.
Illinois State leads the all-time series, 35-13, over Bradley, with Illinois State winning the last 30 matches between the two teams. The last time the Braves defeated the Redbirds was in 1986, where the Redbirds lost, 5-4, at Bradley. The last time the two teams met was March 28, 2008, where the Redbirds bested the Braves, 6-1, at Bloomington’s Evergreen Racquet Club.
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