The Bradley tennis team ended the regular season in a dominant fashion on Sunday, defeating the Valparaiso Crusaders 7-0 at the Markin Tennis courts, completing its first full sweep of the season. Freshman Sandra Maletin and sophomore Natalia Barbery led the way by winning their doubles match and reaching a tie for fourth all-time doubles wins at Bradley.
Bradley’s only set loss came at the three position in doubles, but Bradley won all 12 sets in singles play, including Barbery’s win, where she dropped only one game in the entire match.
Head Coach Matt Tyler said the win may prove to be an instrumental confidence booster as Bradley looks towards the Valley tournament this weekend.
“The confidence going into the tournament, getting a win like that, I feel like this is the first time that we really fired on all cylinders,” Tyler said.
Freshman Kinga Kovacs continued her upward trend after her first collegiate match win against Northern Iowa by dominating her match on Sunday in the six position (6-1, 6-1). Following the win, Kovacs praised the team’s ability to work together
“We played great matches last weekend, and I think this win is a boost for everyone,” Kovacs said. “Now that we were able to recover from the injuries and illnesses, we definitely are more confident.”
Following the team’s successful senior day, Bradley now looks ahead to a quarterfinal matchup in the MVC Tournament with Missouri State. The Braves lost to Missouri State three weeks ago, falling 4-3 at home after the Bears rallied at the end of the match. Bradley has won two out of their last three matches since then, and have a chance to earn a third-straight trip to the semifinals.
Missouri State won four out of their last six matches dating back to the win against Bradley and will certainly be a tough matchup for the Braves.
“The last two years we’ve managed to upset the team that we played in the first round of the tournament and make the semifinals,” Tyler said. “Last year we were a point away from beating Southern Illinois and getting into the championship match, so I really feel like we’ve got the athletes and the players to win it, but we’re trying to stay focused on Missouri State first and foremost.”
Bradley’s quarterfinal match in the MVC tournament is set to take place Friday at 10 a.m. at the Cooper Tennis Complex against the Missouri State Bears in Springfield, Missouri.