NATCHITOCHES – Tuesday’s result for the Northwestern State tennis team may have appeared one-sided, however there was plenty of positive to be drawn from the day’s outcome.
NSU (4-5) gave up a 5-2 team decision to ULM (8-4) in a drawn-out affair between the teams.
“(It was) a tough 5-2 loss, head coach Jonas Brobeck said. “A four-hour long match, probably the toughest 5-2 loss I’ve ever been a part of. We lost two tiebreakers at No. 2 and 5, but the girls fought hard. We were able to put ourselves in a position to win, so now we have to bring the positives with us and then take the things we did not do so well and get back to work.”
Doubles once again proved to be a point of strength for the squad, as the No. 2 and 3 courts claimed victory once again for the Lady Demons — 6-2 and 6-3 respectively. With the win, the team record in doubles competition moved to 8-2 on the season.
As part of the victory at No. 3 doubles, Emilija Dancetovic climbed to 19th all-time in doubles victories in program history. Dancetovic and Dorota Szczygielska remain undefeated in doubles through their first nine matches.
Freshman Gig Kanaphuet made her career debut at No. 6 in singles against Daniela Hernandez. After falling 6-0 in the opening set, Kanaphuet found her rhythm and dispatched Hernandez 6-4, 6-3. She not only claimed her first recorded career victory in singles but also won the only singles point on the day for the Lady Demons.
“(We are) very proud of Gig,” Brobeck said. “Her opponent was dictating, and Gig made a couple of changes that gave herself a chance to get back in that match and played really well when it mattered. I’m super proud of her. She hasn’t played that many singles matches for us this year, and she came in and did really well.”
A defeat at the No. 1 court for Mariella Minetti against Hala Badwy (6-1, 6-1) tied the match at 1. Szczygielska, after claiming a difficult 7-5 first set, fell in her final sets 6-0, 6-0.
After Judit Castillo Gargallo retired from her match, resulting in a 3-1 lead for ULM, two decisive final sets at the No. 2 (Viktorie Wojcikova) and No. 5 (Dancetovic) courts ultimately decided the fate of the Lady Demons. Both fell in tiebreaking decisions, marking a challenging day for NSU in three-setters.
“Obviously, Viki is not happy about the result, but we are proud of the way she fought, and how she put herself back in a situation to win that match,” Brobeck said. “This is her first 7-6 in the third match in collegiate tennis, so let’s take from this and get better from it.”
The Lady Demons travel Friday to Stephen F. Austin for a final conference match at 1 p.m. against the Ladyjacks.
Photo Cutline: Gig Kanaphuet made her career debut and claimed her first career victory against Louisiana-Monroe.
Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services