OMAHA, NEB. - The No. 7 seeded UNI Panthers (16-9, 5-6) fell to the top-seeded Wichita State Shockers (21-5, 11-0) in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference championship match Sunday, 4-0. The win marks WSU's 10th overall conference title and third in the last four years.
The Shockers failed to drop a set before the match ended in their favor.
Wichita State earned its first point of the match after winning two doubles matches. Lutfiana Budiharto and Anna Egorova handled UNI's Sampada Kanade and Diana Mendez at the No. 1 spot, 8-1. The Shockers'
Stephanie Dalmacio and Florentina Hanisch then topped Phoebe Walker and Laia Gonzalez-Garrido at the No. 2 position, 8-4, to secure the doubles point. The UNI pair ends its spring season touting the team's top doubles record at 16-6.
The Shockers emerged victorious in the first three completed singles matches to claim the 4-0 win and the title. No. 1 singles competitor Egorova began the head-to-head portion of the afternoon with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of UNI's Walker. The Panther freshman ends her debut season with a 14-10 singles record, competing most of the conference season at the No. 1 spot.
The next match to finish was at the No. 4 position where WSU's Dalmacio topped freshman Jessica Kunzelmann, 6-1, 6-1. Kunzelmann finishes her first season as the top win-getter for UNI in singles with a 17-8 dual match record.
Wichita State wrapped up the championship as Torrie Browning (No. 3) defeated Kanade, 6-1, 6-4. The loss puts the junior Kanade at 16-9 in singles play for the season. With 58 career singles wins, Kanade will enter her senior year only five victories away from breaking into the Panthers' top ten all-time wins list.
"I'm really proud of the team's effort during the tournament. We have a young team and hope to make another run for the title next year," said head coach Sachin Kirtane.
UNI returns all but one athlete next season. Senior Taynara Moraes ends her Panther career seventh all-time in doubles victories with 69 and sixth all-time in singles wins with 72.
The Panthers second place performance ties for the program's best finish in the MVC tournament play. UNI fell to Illinois State in the 2005 MVC championship match by the same score.
UNI became the first No. 7 seed ever to compete in a MVC women's tennis championship match.
1. Lutfiana Budiharto/Anna Egorova (WSU) def. Sampada Kanade/Diana
Mendez (UNI), 8-1
2. Stephanie Dalmacio/Florentina Hanisch (WSU) def. Phoebe Walker/Laia
Gonzalez (UNI) 8-4
3. Torrie Browning/Lenore Lazaroiu (WSU) vs. Jessica Kunzelmann/Taynara
Moraes (UNI) 6-3, unfinished
1. Anna Egorova (WSU) def. Phoebe Walker (UNI) 6-0, 6-0
2. Lutfiana Budiharto (WSU) vs. Laia Gonzalez (UNI) 6-3, 4-1, unfinished
3. Torrie Browning (WSU) def. Sampada Kanade (UNI) 6-1, 6-4
4. Stephanie Dalmacio (WSU) def. Jessica Kunzelmann (UNI) 6-1, 6-1
5. Lenore Lazaroiu (WSU) vs. Taynara Moraes (UNI) 2-1, unfinished
6. Florentina Hanisch (WSU) vs. Diana Mendez (UNI) 1-1, unfinished