SDSU splits conference meets
The South Dakota State women's tennis team was bounced 4-3 by Kansas City, but shutout Western Illinois 7-0 at Friday's cluster in Kansas City.
Doubles was highly competitive, but the Kangaroos emerged victorious at No. 2 and No. 3 for the team point.
Jenny Blackburne and Ffion Davies were 8-7 (9-7) winners at No. 1 versus Laura Bouet and Eva Dalvai. The Jackrabbit duo improved to 11-6 on the season, the most wins by any SDSU doubles team, and 1-1 in conference play.
Unfortunately for SDSU, the 'Roos won 8-6 at No. 2 and 8-2 at No. 3 for a one-point advantage before singles.
In singles, SDSU won three matches in full third sets, but was unable to find the allusive fourth victory.
Davies lost the first set versus Dalvai at No. 2, but stormed back for a 6-1, 6-4 wins in the second and third sets. Davies improved to 13-4 on the season and 9-2 at the second spot, both best marks by a Jackrabbit.
Beatriz Souza split the first two sets at No. 4 with Suzan Lisenby 6-2, 1-6, but outlasted her opponent 6-3 in the third and decisive set.
Tiffany Filipovich was in a similar situation to Davies as she dropped the first set to Gabby Pintos at No. 6. As was the case in the No. 2 match, Filipovich regrouped and won the second and third sets, both by the score of 6-3.
That is where the scoring stopped for the Jacks, however, as Kansas City won at No. 1, 3 and 5.
"The energy, fight and belief were definitely there today and the girls should be proud of the way they played," head coach Michael Engdahl said. "The match versus Kansas City was a dog fight and we did not back down at all. They are a top Summit League team and we proved we can play amongst the best. We need to get better at bringing the mental toughness we showed today to every match. We will win a lot of matches if we are able to do that."
SDSU is now 8-9 overall, 0-2 in The Summit League. UMKC is 5-10 overall, but sits atop the league at 2-0.
In the second meet of the day, SDSU shutout Western Illinois 7-0.
Singles was more of the same, as all SDSU players were straight-set winners, four in shutout fashion.
Davies, Beatriz Souza, Haws-Lay and Filipovich were 6-0, 6-0 winners at No. 2, 4, 5 and 6, respectively.
Magni was a 6-1, 6-0 winner at the top spot versus Mejia and Blackburne was a 6-1, 6-1 winner at No. 3 versus Pazdernick.
"The meet versus Western Illinois was tough mentally because of the battle we had earlier in the day with Kansas City," said Engdahl. "The girls did a great job of not having a mental lapse and stayed focused. Overall, we proved a lot to ourselves today and need to put in some work over the next three weeks in preparation for the next Summit League cluster."
SDSU improved to 9-9 overall, 1-2 in The Summit League. Western Illinois remained winless overall and in league play at 0-11, 0-4.
The Jacks take a two-week break from competition before returning on Saturday, March 30 at Bradley. Meet time is set for 11 a.m. in Peoria, Ill.