PEORIA, Ill. — Redbird freshman Hannah Esker brought her singles winning streak to six and doubles winning streak to nine to help the Illinois State women’s tennis team win its fourth-straight match, sweeping Bradley, 7-0, Friday at Markin Tennis Courts in Peoria, Ill. The match marked the Redbirds first Missouri Valley Conference match of the spring season.
Esker, along with partner Carmen Peters, began the Redbird sweep by besting BU’s Kim Braun and Erin Krubeck, 8-3, in Flight 3 doubles. In Flight 1 doubles, Franziska Steinhardt and Julia Zubkova defeated BU’s Emily Regenold and Nicoloe Miller, 8-6, snapping the Braves duo’s 12-match winning streak. Redbirds Natalia Lech and Tanja Hrovatic completed the Redbirds’ sweep in doubles, besting BU’s Jessica Buterbaugh and Kelly Donohue, 8-3, in Flight 2.
Illinois State’s momentum continued into singles play, proving to be too much for Bradley. Illinois State won all six matches in straight sets.
Esker’s winning streak continued after she defeated Krubeck, 6-0, 6-4, in Flight 5 singles.
Redbird teammates Hrovatic and Lech followed Esker’s lead and continued singles winning streaks of their own. Hrovatic bested Buterbaugh, 6-0, 6-0, in Flight 2 for her fifth-straight win, while Lech defeated Regenold, 6-0, 6-0, in Flight 3 for her fourth-straight win.
In Flight 2 singles, Steinhardt snapped her four-match losing skid with a 6-0, 6-3, win over BU’s Veronika Wojakowska. In Flight 1, Julia Zubkova bested BU’s Miller, 7-6, 6-1.
“We started a little slow in doubles play,” said head coach Chris Hoover. “We really started picking the level of play up in the singles matches. It was a good start to conference play, but we need to have a day when we are on our game in both singles and doubles.”
With the win, the Redbirds improve their record to 9-6 overall and 1-0 in the Valley this season. The Braves fall to 8-5 overall and 0-2 the Valley.
The Redbirds will continue conference play at home when they host the 2008 MVC regular-season and tournament champions Indiana State Sunday at noon at Evergreen Racquet Club in Bloomington, Ill.
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