Panthers split with Fighting Hawks, Mavericks



Andrijana Brkic picked up a dominant win in her singles match against Minnesota State on Saturday, winning 6-1, 6-1.

DREW HILL, Opinion Columnist

The UNI women’s tennis team hit the road for their first matches of the 2023 season. The Panthers stopped in Grand Forks, N.D., to face the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on Friday, Jan. 20. They then traveled to Mankato, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 21, to face the Minnesota State Mavericks. After falling 6-1 to the Fighting Hawks, UNI rebounded with a 6-1 victory over the Minnesota State Mavericks.

Against North Dakota, Andrijana Brkic and Issa Sullivan came close to winning their doubles match, falling 7-5. Lasya Mylavarapu and Thaissa Moreira also dropped their doubles match 7-5. North Dakota completed the sweep with a 6-0 win over UNI’s Darta Dalecka and Lorena Cardoso to gain the doubles point.

In singles matches, Kim Zizek picked up the lone win and point for UNI with a hard-fought 7-5 win. Dalecka nearly won her second set, but wound up losing in sets of 6-3 and 7-6. Cardoso lost in sets of 6-0 and 6-1, Moreira lost in sets of 6-1 and 6-3, Brkic lost in sets of 6-4 and 6-1 and Sullivan lost in sets of 6-0 and 6-2.

UNI had a strong comeback the next day against Minnesota State, dropping only one singles match en route to a dominant 6-1 performance. The Panthers swept the doubles matches. Dalecka and Cardoso won 6-2, Mylavarapu and Moreira won 6-3 and Brkic and Sullivan won 6-4 to claim the doubles point.

Singles matches brought more Panther dominance. Zizek won her second match in a row in sets of 6-3 and 6-2. Dalecka won the first set 6-4, but after dropping the second set 6-0, she needed a big win to clinch the point. She did just that, winning her last set 6-2. Moreira and Brkic won big in their matches, with Moreira winning in sets of 6-1 and 6-0 and Brkic winning in matching sets of 6-1. Sullivan faced a tough fight in the first set, pulling out a narrow 7-5 victory, but won the second set 6-3 to claim UNI’s sixth point. Cardoso was the lone Panther to drop her match, ultimately falling 7-5 and 6-3.

After splitting their road trip, UNI returns home for their next pair of matches. They host the Omaha Mavericks at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Black Hawk Tennis Center in Waterloo. Then, on Friday, Feb. 3, the Panthers host the Kansas City Roos at 11 a.m.