Tennis starts strong with individual efforts
Flash flood sirens were screeching throughout the area, cars were becoming pontoon boats with wheels and the only sunshine in the area was to be found inside the Clubs at River City Saturday.
Inside the barn-shaped sports complex was the women’s tennis team who won 12 of 21 singles matches against Northern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Hotels at Grand Prairie Invitational.
Coach Scott Petersen said the main goal of the tournament for the teams wasn’t to win.
“We’re in this tournament to have these girls battle through,” he said.
Junior Emily Regenold was on the winning side for most of the tournament in the A bracket as she posted two victories, including a match on Saturday that couldn’t be settled in the first two sets.
The sudden death race to 10 points took what seemed like 20 minutes of volleys back and forth between her opponent from Eastern Illinois.
Regenold cruised in the first set 6-3 but after a couple of falters in the second set combined with the whole Eastern Illinois team cheering on its teammate, Regenold lost her slim 5-4 lead and dropped the next three games.
Coach Petersen stayed by her side the whole game.
“I stayed by her side because I wanted her to fight through it because that’s why we’re in this tournament,” he said.
Regenold battled her opponent in sudden death by flailing the tennis ball back and forth, but it also became a contest as to who could grunt or scream louder at each other.
The parts of the crowd that were watching the other courts play shifted their lawn chairs inside the humid and compact aisle towards the ensuing battle at the far of the court.
Regenold was tied with her opponent at five before she stepped her game up to a new level her opponent couldn’t match. She rallied off four straight points to kill any momentum her foe had.
The loss in confidence beamed through her opponent’s facial expression as well as her play, as she finished the match by giving Regenold an easy clinch with a double fault.
“She dug down and was a little upset she didn’t get the second set but she fought back so hard,” Petersen said.
On the other side of the complex, senior Kim Braun was manhandling her opponent. Braun was able to win the first nine points and cruised to a smooth 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Senior Erin Krubeck was also playing at the same time as Regenold and Braun to end Saturday’s day of play, but came up on the short end of the stick.
The popular saying “you are your own worst critic” used by professors was taken seriously by Krubeck as she continuously frustrated with herself during the match.
Petersen came to her aid to coach her through her tough match, but it was too little too late for a comeback. Krubeck was able to start anew Sunday and pull away with her first win of the tournament.
Sophomore Nicole Miller and juniors Jessica Buterbaugh and Kelly Donohue posted two wins during the tournament.
Freshman Veronika Wojakowska started her Bradley career in the right direction with two wins.
Sunday was a cruel day to Bradley’s doubles matches as it lost all three of its matches. The three losses put the Braves under .500 for the weekend in doubles play.