Women's Tennis Wins Three Straight on the Road, Improve to 3-2 Overall

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    Feb. 15, 2004

    By Josh Magill & Dustin Thompson

    RICHMOND, Ky. - It seemed more like a baseball game then a weekend of tennis as the women's tennis squad struck out three opponents in two days. The Salukis improved to 3-2 with three straight wins at the Eastern Kentucky round-robin style tournament this weekend, knocking off Wright State (7-0), East Tennessee State (4-3) and host Eastern Kentucky (6-1).

    The three wins bring head coach Judy Auld closer to reaching 400 victories as head coach at SIU. She is now just three wins shy of the mark, having reached 397 with the Salukis win over EKU.

    Sisters Alejandra and Maria Blanco led the way for SIU with three wins each at the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively. Alejandra, a senior, capped off her winning weekend with a win over EKU's Hannah Bartsch, 6-2, 6-5, on Sunday, while Maria, a sophomore, clinched her third win against Lucia Vojtkova of EKU, 6-2, 6-3.

    Senior Jessica Knitter was the only Saluki to fall this weekend, grabbing just one win from her three matches at the No. 3 position as she defeated Laura Culbertson of Wright State, 6-2, 6-4.

    Senior Tana Trapani, who has won 13 of her last 14 matches this year, won three matches at the No. 4 spot, defeating Terin Roof of EKU, 6-3, 6-0, to earn the 48th victory of her career.

    Sophomores Zuzana Palovic and Zoya Honarmand also came up with key wins for SIU during the weekend. Palovic won three singles matches, while Honarmand claimed two.

    But it could have been the surprising play of walk-on Natalie Crothers that sparked SIU to a great weekend. Crothers played only one match, but won that match after rebounding from a first set loss to take the second set and finish in a super tiebreaker, 1-6, 7-5, (10-3). She defeated WSU's Jessica Morris for a 7-0 SIU victory.



    The Salukis lost just two of the nine doubles matches played during the weekend. The senior duo of Trapani and Blanco teamed up to win three matches at the No. 2 spot, improving their career record at SIU to 31-8. Palovic and Honarmand also won three matches at the No. 3 position for the 13th win of their careers.

    The Salukis return to action March 7 as they travel to Winter Park, Fla. to start a weeklong road trip against Rollins College. Results can be found at www.SIUSalukis.com.

    SIU vs. Wright State

    1. Alejandra Blanco (SIU) def. Maggie Jacobs 6-0, 6-2
    2. Maria Blanco (SIU) def. Audra Beckett 6-0, 6-0
    3. Jessica Knitter (SIU) def. Laura Culbertson 6-2, 6-4
    4. Tana Trapani (SIU) def. Jennifer Beard 6-0, 6-0
    5. Zuzana Palovic (SIU) def. Megan Laux 6-0, 6-2
    6. Natalie Crothers (SIU) def. Jessica Morris 1-6, 7-5 (10-3)

    1. M. Blanco/Knitter (SIU) def. Jacobs/Beckett 8-6
    2. A. Blanco/Trapani (SIU) def. Culbertson/Laux 8-3
    3. Palovic/ Honarmand (SIU) def. Beard/Morris 8-0

    SIU vs. East Tennessee State

    1. Alejandra Blanco (SIU) def. Courtney McInnis 6-1, 6-1
    2. Sylwia Ziolkowska def. Maria Blanco (SIU) 6-4, 6-4
    3. Gemma Halim def. Jessica Knitter (SIU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
    4. Tana Trapani (SIU) def. Jessica Irey 6-2, 6-2
    5. Mariya Iiyina def. Zoya Honarmand (SIU) 6-1, 6-1
    6. Zuzana Palovic (SIU) def. Jewel Aldea 6-1, 6-1

    1. Ziolkowska/Iiyina def. M. Blanco/Knitter (SIU) 9-7
    2. A. Blanco/Trapani (SIU) def. Halim/Irey 8-3
    3. Tpalovic/ Honarmand (SIU) def. McInnis/Villvicinceo 8-3

    SIU vs. Eastern Kentucky

    1. Alejandra Blanco (SIU) def. Hannah Bartsch - 6-2, 6-5
    2. Maria Blanco (SIU) def. Lucia Vojtkova - 6-2, 6-3
    3. Lindsay Herrera (EKU) def. Jessica Knitter - 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
    4. Tana Trapani (SIU) def. Terin Roof - 6-3, 6-0
    5. Zoya Honarmand (SIU) def. Janina Dickhardt - 6-1, 6-2
    6. Zuzana Tpalovic (SIU) def. Tessa Williams - 6-3, 6-1

    1. Herrera/Roof (EKU) def. M. Blanco/Knitter (SIU) - 8-4
    2. A. Blanco/Trapani (SIU) def. Bartsch/Dickhardt - 8-1
    3. Tpalovic/ Honarmand (SIU) def. Vojtkova/Williams - 8-5