NATCHITOCHES – Five players won singles matches in straight sets, leading the Northwestern State tennis team to a 6-1 victory against New Orleans on Sunday afternoon at the Jack Fisher Tennis Complex.
Ela Iwaniuk led the charge, rolling to a 6-0, 6-0, triumph at the No. 2 spot against UNO’s Salma Abdelrahim.
“Ela played fantastic today,” head coach Patric DuBois said. “I think her start in singles, getting off the court so fast, created even more energy for her teammates, knowing we were up 2-0.”
NSU (10-4, 3-1) won its third consecutive conference match and eighth contest out of the last nine overall. The win marks the ninth consecutive home victory for the Lady Demons, which is tied for the seventh-longest streak in program history.
“We had a good week of practice, and everyone hunkered down and did their job this weekend,” DuBois said.
It was the third straight defeat for UNO (6-3, 1-3). The previous two matches came by the slimmest of margins to two of the top teams in the conference—Sam Houston State and Central Arkansas.
The Lady Demons began play with a hard-fought doubles point. At the No. 1 spot, Patrycja Polanska and Mariella Minetti jumped to a fast start and ran away with a 6-2 win against Annalena Eggestein and Tristanne Dechoux.
The other two matches were tight, with UNO escaping at No. 3 before Emilija Dancetovic and Ela Iwaniuk came away with a 7-5 triumph to earn the doubles point. The teams traded points, with neither team gaining more than one point of separation before Iwaniuk made a perfectly placed shot that landed in to give the Lady Demons the point.
“The doubles point was pretty big,” DuBois said. “We played good doubles on all three courts and were able to scrap out a point.”
Iwaniuk made quick work of Abdelrahim at No. 2 singles to give the Lady Demons a 2-0 lead. She was one of five Lady Demons to win their first set.
“I started from the first point and I think I was breaking her mentally,” Iwaniuk said. “I just stayed aggressive and was not letting her hit crazy shots and I think she burned out as the match went on.”
At No. 3, Dorota Szczygielska made it 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-2, triumph against Dechoux. It was a close first set at 3-2 when Szczygielska won two consecutive games to go up 5-2 and Dechoux couldn’t recover. In the second set, Szczygielska jumped to a 4-1 lead and cruised to the victory.
Dancetovic clinched the triumph for the Lady Demons with a 6-1, 6-2, win against Yurina Asai. Dancetovic dropped the first game to Asai in the first set but proceeded to rattle off six consecutive games to win the first set. In the second, Dancetovic took the first three games and coasted to the clinch, making it 4-0 NSU.
Olivia Alfredsson made it 5-0 with a victory against Claudette Gilhespie, 6-2, 6-3. Alfredsson had a fast start, jumping out 4-1 in the first set en route to taking the first set convincingly.
She grabbed the first three games of the second set before Gilhespie came back to cut it to one. But Alfredsson counterpunched and scored the final two games to win the set and match. Gilhespie entered the match at 7-1 on the season.
UNO’s Mar Gendra was 8-0 on the season at the No. 4 spot until she ran into Polanska.
Polanska earned a 7-5, 6-1, victory to put NSU in front 6-0. In the opening set, Polanska trailed for much of it before rallying for three consecutive games to emerge with a 7-5 opening set win. It was a close second set early on before Polanska rattled off four games in a row to come out on top and make it 6-0.
UNO’s lone win came in a hard-fought match in a super tiebreaker at No. 1 singles.
The Lady Demons are back in action Saturday at Central Arkansas at 11 a.m. It is the first of five consecutive matches away from Natchitoches. Their next home match takes place April 3 against Sam Houston State.
Tennis Match Results
New Orleans vs. Northwestern State
March 8, 2020 at Natchitoches, LA
(Jack Fisher Tennis Complex)
Northwestern State 6, New Orleans 1
1. Ank Vullings (UNO) def. Mariella Minetti (NSU) 7-5, 0-6, 10-7
2. Ela Iwaniuk (NSU) def. Salma Abdelrahim 6-0, 6-0
3. Dorota Szczygielska (NSU) def. Tristanne Dechoux 6-3, 6-2
4. Patrycja Polanska (NSU) def. Mar Gendra 7-5, 6-1
5. Olivia Alfredsson (NSU) def. Claudette Gilhespie 6-2, 6-3
6. Emilija Dancetovic (NSU) def. Yurina Asai 6-1, 6-2
1. Patrycja Polanska/Mariella Minetti (NSU) def. Tristanne Dechoux/Annalena Eggestein 6-2
2. Emilija Dancetovic/Ela Iwaniuk (NSU) def. Ank Vullings/Mar Gendra 7-5
3. Claudette Gilhespie/Lea Alguacil (UNO) def. Dorota Szczygielska/Judit Castillo Gargallo 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,3,6,5,4,1)
CUTLINE: Ela Iwaniuk’s 6-0, 6-0, victory in singles set the tone for the match, as Northwestern State came away with a dominating 6-1 win over New Orleans Sunday afternoon at the Jack Fisher Tennis Complex