UNI splits matches with Valpo, Missouri State



Thaissa Moreira picked up a big singles victory, defeating Valparaiso’s Mia Bertino, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, securing the match victory for the Panthers.

Braden Elton, Guest Writer

The UNI tennis team split its two Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) matches at home this weekend against Valparaiso and Missouri State. The Panthers were victorious on Saturday as they beat Valparaiso by a score of 4-3. On Sunday morning, the Panthers had a fast turn around, resulting in a tightly contested defeat, 4-3.

The Panthers opened the weekend of play by winning two of the three doubles matches against Valparaiso. Darta Dalecka and Lorena Cardoso earned their 11th win as a duo as they defeated Amanda Tabanera and Elizabeth Sobieski, 6-2. Issa Sullivan and Thaissa Moreira followed that up with a 6-3 victory over Eleanor Chapman and Demi Jhaveri. 

In singles play, Dalecka got it going early for the Panthers as she beat Moira Silva in the No. 2 singles match, 6-2, 6-3. Andrijana Brkic was able to secure a second singles match victory for UNI as she defeated Olivia Czerwonka 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. The win for Brkic was her 24th singles victory on the year.

Moreira was the hero of the day, as she battled back from a 6-1 first set loss to beat Valparaiso’s Mia Bertino 6-4 in the next two sets. The victory for Moreira secured UNI’s fourth point and gave the Panthers their first win against Valparaiso since 2019, and their first conference victory of the year. 

The Panthers woke up on Sunday morning looking to repeat success as they faced Missouri State. UNI found success in the doubles matches, but were unable to seal the victory in their singles matches.

Kim Zizek and Brkic were able to get the Panthers started by beating Diana Cabera and Alyson Piskulic, 6-4. Sullivan and Moreira got the second doubles victory for UNI as they defeated Silva Avaikan and Tiera Jarmon in a tiebreak to secure a 7-6 victory.

Dalecka was able to give UNI their first singles victory of the day as she beat Missouri State’s Jarmond 7-5, 6-0. After losing the next three singles matches, Moreira gave the Panthers some life as she defeated Piskulic in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. 

In the No. 6 singles match, Kanyanut Sudsaard was able to push the match to three sets, but ultimately fell to Missouri State’s Silva Avakian 2-6, 7-5, 1-6. The Bears were able to exit Northern Iowa with a 4-3 victory, their first conference victory on the year. 

The Panthers will be on the road next week for their final regular season MVC road trip. UNI will play a pair of newcomers, Belmont on Friday, April 7, and Murray State on Saturday, April 8.