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DES MOINES, IOWA - Senior Kari Sloboth (Omaha, Neb.) rallied back from a second-set singles deficit to lift the Drake women's tennis team to its fifth consecutive triumph as the Bulldogs earned a 4-3 victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday (April 4) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

Drake evened its ledger at 8-8 on the campaign, including 2-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while the Salukis fell to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in league action.

"I am very happy that we won today as it was very tough match and SIU definitely pushed us," Bulldog head coach Urska Juric commented. "I'm very proud of the team. Everyone fought really hard and it was a team effort to get this win. However, if I had to choose one player on the team today that shined it would be Kari (Sloboth). Her great determination and believe in herself and the team got us this victory today!"

After dropping the initial doubles tilt, Drake netted back-to-back victories capped by an 8-6 decision at the No. 3 slot from Sloboth and freshman Gabby Demos (Chesterfield, Mo.) over the 68th-rated duo of Vishakha Sheoran and Martina Vianna Ce to capture the doubles point.

Senior Veronika Leszayova (Povazska Bystrica, Slovak Republic) pushed the margin to 2-0 after dispatching off Fadzai Mawisire, 6-1, 7-6 (0) at the No. 1 singles slot.

Southern Illinois chipped the deficit to 2-1 with a decision at the No. 3 position, before freshman Jessica Aguilera (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) extended Drake's lead to 3-1 with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Michela Cruise at No. 4.

The Salukis captured wins on the Nos. 2 and 6 courts to square the contest at three.

The match came down to the No. 5 hole where Sloboth battled Jessica Flannery. Sloboth dropped the first set, 6-4, before battling back to take the second frame, 7-5. In the deciding third set, Sloboth earned a 6-0 decision to secure the triumph and the match for the Bulldogs, 4-3.

Drake concludes its homestand on Sunday (April 5) as the Bulldogs entertain Evansville in an 10:00 a.m. tilt.

DRAKE (8-8, 2-0 MVC) DEF. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (11-5, 1-1 MVC), 4-3
APRIL 4, 2009
ROGER KNAPP TENNIS CENTER o DES MOINES, IOWA

SINGLES:
No. 1 Veronika Leszayova (DU) def. Fadzai Mawisire (SIU), 6-1, 7-6 (0)
No. 2 Vishakha Sheoran (SIU) def. Gabriela Demos (DU), 6-4, 6-3
No. 3 Ame Blacketer (SIU) def. Morgan Rainey (DU), 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 Jessica Aguilera (DU) def. Michela Cruise (SIU), 6-4, 6-2
No. 5 Kari Sloboth (DU) vs. Jessica Flannery (SIU), 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
No. 6 Martina Vianna Ce (SIU) def. Amanda Aragon (DU), 7-5, 6-3
Order of finish (1,3,4,2,6,5)

DOUBLES:
No. 1 Mawisire/Blacketer (SIU) def. Jessica Labarte/Aragon (DU), 8-4
No. 2 Leszayova/Rainey (DU) def. Cruise/Flannery (SIU), 8-6
No. 3 Demos/Sloboth (DU) def. No. 68 Sheoran/Vianna Ce (SIU), 8-6
Order of finish (1,2,3)

 

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