HILTON HEAD, S.C. – The Michigan Tech women's tennis team suffered a 4-3 non-conference loss to Illinois-Springfield on day two of the Spring Tennis Fest held in Hilton Head, South Carolina Monday. The Huskies kicked off their annual spring break trip with a 7-0 victory on Sunday over Kutztown.
"I was proud of the effort from the players today," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Kalinec said. "We struggled in doubles which hurt us going into the singles portion of the match. Our players kept battling though and Jessica [Brown], Vicky [Quinde], and Mirna [Golac] all came up with big wins for us to keep us in contention. We'll get back to work and look to bounce back Wednesday against George Mason."
Michigan Tech (10-6) was forced to play catchup against Illinois-Springfield (7-2) following the doubles portion of the match. The Prairie Stars were able to take all three doubles matches to earn the first point of the day.
Freshman Jessica Brown and freshman Samantha Johnson fell to Neha Mokhasi and Ashley Long in No. 1 doubles 6-3. Freshman Mirna Golac and senior Vicky Quinde went toe to toe with Maegan Flight and Steph Reynolds in No. 2 doubles, but were edged out 7-6 with a 7-5 tiebreak score to decide the contest. Junior Anabella Neri and senior Allenca Rolim took on the duo of Kena Bere and Nethra Thenappen in No. 3 doubles Monday and lost by a final of 6-1.
The Huskies battled back in singles and nearly rallied to overtake the Prairie Stars in the match with a trio of three set wins. Brown took an early lead with a 6-4 win in set one against Mokhasi in No. 1 singles, but lost the second set 6-1. Brown regrouped between sets and outlasted her opponent for the win in set three 10-6 to claim the point.
In No. 3 singles, Quinde fought back from a 1-0 deficit against Flight to notch a victory for Tech. Flight won the opening set 6-3, but Quinde responded with a 7-6 win with an 8-6 tiebreak score to even the match at 1-1. Quinde then held back Flight in the deciding third set 10-7 to earn the point for the Huskies.
In No. 4 singles, Golac got the upper hand against Bere with a set one win 6-2 and came close to wrapping up the match in the second set. However, Bere evened things up with a 7-6 win on a 7-5 tiebreak score to force a third set. Golac exchange point for point with Bere in the deciding round and held her off for a 12-10 win.
Unfortunately, Illinois-Springfield would log victories in the other three singles showdowns, and combined with the doubles point, were able to win the overall match. Johnson fell to Long 6-0, 6-2 in No. 2 doubles and Neri went three sets against Thornhill in No. 5 singles, but came up just short 3-6, 6-3, 5-10. Thenappan ended up getting a point for the Prairie Stars in the No. 6 spot with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Rolim.
The Huskies will have Tuesday off and look to bounce back against George Mason on Wednesday in Hilton Head. The first serve is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. eastern time.