Panthers’ tennis trip to Illinois ends in defeat



The UNI tennis team dropped a pair of conference matches in Illinois last weekend. They hope to bounce back in their upcoming plays against Valparaiso and Missouri State.

Braden Elton, Guest Writer

The UNI Panthers tennis team traveled to Illinois last weekend as they faced two strong Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) opponents in Bradley and Illinois State. However,, the Panthers left in defeat as they dropped the two matches, losing 4-3 against Bradley, and 7-0 against Illinois State.

The Panthers traveled to Peoria for the first of the two matches, looking to win their first conference match of the year. The Braves took two of the three doubles matches as UNI’s Issa Sullivan and Thaissa Moreira were able to snap a two-match losing streak with a victory over Bradley’s Mariia Pukhina and Alexandra Hildreth, 6-4. 

Andrijana Brkic started it off for the Panthers in the singles matches, earning her sixth consecutive singles victory in a three-set win over Bradley’s Mariia Pukhina. Brkic lost the first set 7-6, then caught fire as she won the next two sets, 6-0. Kim Zizek added another victory under her belt as she defeated Maria Bezmenova in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3. The victory brought Zizek’s singles record to an even 6-6 on the year. 

Kanyanut Sudsgaard was able to notch another win in the singles category as she defeated Alexandra Hildreth, 6-0, 7-5. It was her second singles victory of the year. Despite their efforts, the Panthers lost the other three singles matches, falling to the Braves 4-3. 

The Panthers faced another test on Sunday as they traveled to Normal to take on Illinois State, the top team in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Panthers battled hard, yet left Illinois with a 7-0 defeat. 

The two losses bring UNI’s overall record to 4-11-1 on the season and 0-3 in conference play. The Panthers hope to bounce back as they return home to host Valparaiso on Saturday, April 1, at 1 p.m.  The Panthers will then take on Missouri State the following morning at 10 a.m.