UNI Tennis earns first MVC win - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Tennis earns first MVC win

WATERLOO, Iowa - After a disappointing 4-3 loss to Evansville yesterday, the UNI Panthers (12-5, 1-2) recovered to defeat the Southern Illinois Salukis (11-6, 1-2) Sunday by the same score. The win marked the Panthers' first conference win of the season.

Impressive doubles play ended up giving UNI the edge in the contest. The Panthers' most notable performance came at the No. 3 spot as Taynara Moraes and Jessica Kunzelmann defeated SIU's Vishakha Sheoran and Martina Vianna Ce, 8-6. The UNI duo found themselves down 5-2 to the nationally-ranked (No. 68) Saluki pair before they rallied to earn the doubles point for the Panthers. UNI's Laia Gonzalez-Garrido and Phoebe Walker added another solid doubles display as they handled Jessica Flannery and Michela Cruise at the No. 2 spot, 8-1.

The Panthers then split with the Salukis in singles play to secure the victory. Walker (No. 2) topped SIU's Sheoran, 6-3, 6-1. Junior Sampada Kanade, the Panthers' top singles performer this season, improved her record to 13-4, defeating Ame Blacketer, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 3 spot. Kunzelmann earned the Panthers' final and difference-making point in No. 4 singles with a convincing victory over Cruise, 6-2, 6-2.

"I'm really proud of the way we responded after the disappointing loss yesterday," said head Coach Sachin Kirtane.

The Panthers hit the road next weekend for three conference matches in three days. UNI meets the defending MVC champs, Indiana State, on Friday, April 10, at 2 p.m. The Panthers then take on the Illinois State Redbirds on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the Bradley Braves on Sunday at 11 a.m.

1) Blacketer/Mawisire (SIU) def. Kanade/Mendez (UNI), 8-4
2) Gonzalez-Garrido/Walker (UNI) def. Flannery/Cruise (SIU), 8-1
3) Moraes/Kunzelmann (UNI) def. Sheoran/Vianna Ce (SIU), 8-6

1) Mawisire (SIU) def. Gonzalez-Garrido (UNI), 6-4, 6-2
2) Walker (UNI) def. Sheoran (SIU), 6-3, 6-1
3) Kanade (UNI) def. Blacketer (SIU), 6-3, 6-0
4) Kunzelmann (UNI) def. Cruise (SIU), 6-2, 6-2
5) Flannery (SIU) def. Moraes (UNI), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
6) Vianna Ce (SIU) def. Mendez (UNI), 6-2, 6-2
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