AKRON, Ohio – The Akron women's tennis team claimed its 20th consecutive victory with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Northern Illinois on Friday afternoon at the LaTuchie Tennis Center.
The Zips improved to 21-2 overall and a perfect 5-0 in MAC play, while the Huskies fell to 8-11 overall and 2-3 in league play.
"We did not play our best tennis today, overall, but I'm proud of the team's effort," said head coach Brandon Padgett. "We must give credit to Northern Illinois for the energy and effort they showed today, especially in doubles. We had leads that we should have finished off, but we left the door open, and to their credit, they took advantage of our lack of focus and mistakes."
In doubles action, junior Ariadna Blinova (Riga, Latvia) and junior Sophia Geier (Burgebrach, Germany) picked up the Zips' lone win over Abigail Dekkinga and Michelle Erasmus, 6-2. NIU clinched the doubles' point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 spots.
"Singles play was much more focused and disciplined for the most part, and I feel that we put ourselves in position to win on every court," Padgett said. "NIU has a talented team, but I think that our depth is what won the match for us today."
At the No. 1 singles spot, Geier (26-3 overall) rebounded to defeat Adey Osabuohien, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Sophomore Luisa Echeverry (Cali, Colombia) picked up her fourth consecutive singles win with a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Dekkinga in No. 4 singles action for the Zips.
At the No. 5 singles spot, senior Shannon Newnes (Romford, London) remained unbeaten in singles action (10-0) this spring with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Brodie Walker.
Junior Carli Knezevich (Austin, Texas) defeated Evelyn Youel in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 6 spot.
Akron travels to Western Michigan (8-9 overall, 2-2 MAC) on Sunday, April 9, for a 1 p.m. match at the West Hills Athletic Club.
"Our focus is now on Western Michigan, and we know that ahead lies a serious challenge, but one that we must meet head on, with confidence and conviction," Padgett concluded.
AKRON 4, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 3
LaTuchie Tennis Center
April 7, 2017
1. Raven Neely/Adey Osabuohien (NIU) def. Carli Knezevich/Karolina Maksimova, 6-4
2. Ariadna Blinova/Sophia Geier (UA) def. Abigail Dekkinga/Michelle Erasmus, 6-2
3. Evelyn Yousel/Pauline Chawafambira (NIU) Shannon Newnes/Rita Pedroso, 7-6 (5)
1. Sophia Geier (UA) def. Adey Osabuohien, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. Raven Neely (NIU) def. Ariadna Blinova, 6-4, 6-2
3. Pauline Chawafambira (NIU) def. Rita Pedroso, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
4. Luisa Echeverry (UA) def. Abigail Dekkinga, 6-1, 6-1
5. Shannon Newnes (UA) def. Brodie Walker, 6-2, 6-1
6. Carli Knezevich (UA) def. Evelyn Youel, 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish:
Doubles– 2, 1, 3
Singles– 2, 4, 6, 5, 1, 3
Akron (21-2, 5-0 MAC)
Northern Illinois (8-11, 2-3 MAC)