Northwestern State earns first conference victory of season at Lamar

BEAUMONT, Texas – For the second time in as many seasons against Lamar, a Southland Conference tennis match came down to the final match of the day, and once again, it was Northwestern State that came away with the victory.

Patrycja Polanska earned a three-set victory against Natalia Molina at the No. 4 spot in the rotation to clinch a 4-3 win against Lamar on Sunday at the Thompson Family Tennis Center.

“This was a very good win today on the road against a tough Lamar team,” DuBois said. “Kudos to Mariella and Pati to fight for crucial wins as the last two matches playing.”

NSU (8-4, 1-1) came away with its sixth win in its past seven matches.

Polanska dropped the first set convincingly 6-2 but fought back to win the second set in a tiebreaker. She fell behind in the second set 3-1 before coming back to force the tiebreaker, which she won 7-4. In the decisive set, she trailed 4-3 before rallying to earn the 7-5 victory to clinch the Lady Demons win.

It is Polanska’s second clinching win in a 4-3 match in as many seasons after doing so against Central Arkansas in 2019.

That was one of two three-set match victories by NSU. With Lamar in front 3-2, Mariella Minetti came through with a win at the No. 1 spot. After losing in the first set 6-4, she came back to win a close second set 7-5 before controlling the final set 6-1 to tie the match at 3-3.

Minetti improved to a team-best 8-3 in singles, playing all at the top spot.

Lamar (6-4, 0-2) fell for the second consecutive time to begin conference play, which was preceded by a six-match winning streak.

NSU began the day by coming away with the doubles point. At No. 3, Dorota Szczygielska and Judit Castillo Gargallo controlled their match, winning 6-2 against Bianca Vitale and Laura Sola Grau. Lamar took the match at No. 1, which set up the decisive match at No. 2.

Polanska and Minetti jumped to a 3-1 lead, but Lamar fought back to cut it to 4-3. The Lady Demons duo kept Lamar at arm’s length and won 6-4 to earn the point.

“The doubles point was obviously big today, so it was nice to start off winning at 2 and 3 for the point,” DuBois said. “Ironically, it came down to the same two players who finished off singles as well.”

Senior Ela Iwaniuk dominated her match against Bianca Vitale 6-1, 6-2, at No. 2 to give the Lady Demons a 2-0 lead. She jumped to a 3-0 first set lead and never looked back in the decisive victory.

“Ela played lights out today,” DuBois said. She had a great process and executed at a high level.”

Lamar came back to win the next three to give the Cardinals the 3-2 advantage.

Four of the singles matches came down to the third set. Lamar won the first two three-set matches that finished at Nos. 3 and 6, which set up Minetti and Polanska to clinch the match.

The Lady Demons return to Natchitoches for their first league home contests next weekend against Nicholls on Friday and New Orleans on Sunday.

Tennis Match Results
Northwestern State vs. Lamar
March 1, 2020 at Beaumont, TX
(Thompson Family Tennis Center)
Northwestern State 4, Lamar 3

1. Mariella Minetti (NSU) def. Jasmin Buchta (LU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
2. Ela Iwaniuk (NSU) def. Bianca Vitale 6-1, 6-2
3. Sanja Jolic (LU) def. Dorota Szczygielska 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
4. Patrycja Polanska (NSU) def. Natalia Movoctolina 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5
5. Laura Sola Grau (LU) def. Olivia Alfredsson 6-4, 6-4
6. Ana Jolic (LU) def. Judit Castillo Gargallo 5-7, 6-3, 6-2

1. Jasmin Buchta/Natalia Molina (LU) def. Ela Iwaniuk/Emilija Dancetovic 6-3
2. Patrycja Polanska/Mariella Minetti (NSU) def. Bianca Vitale/Laura Sola Grau 6-4
3. Dorota Szczygielska/Judit Castillo Gargallo (NSU) def. Jayci Wong/Ana Jolic 6-2

Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,2); Singles (2,5,3,6,1,4)

CUTLINE: Patrycja Polanska provided the clinching point in a 4-3 victory at Lamar, which gave the Lady Demons their first conference victory of the season
CREDIT: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services