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Women’s tennis takes on tough competition

Originally published October 1, 2010

The consolation brackets is where the women’s tennis team found most of its success this weekend at the University of Northern Iowa Fall Invite.

With competition from Big Ten and Big 12 schools, the tournament proved to be challenge for a team of six underclassmen.

Senior Nicole Miller and freshman Sarah Rodefeld had the most success for the Braves, both reaching the semifinals of their respective consolation brackets.

The rest of the women had a hard time scraping out any victories.

The sole singles’ victory on Friday went to freshman Meredith McDonagh.

In her first collegiate match, McDonagh was able to defeat Northern Illinois freshman Ilse Pacheco in convincing fashion, 6-2, 6-3.

McDonagh’s success was short-lived. After losing to ISU’s Nikki Reber, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6, she fell into the consolation bracket, only to lose to Drake’s Earlynn Lauer, 6-3, 6-4, the next day.

Freshman Ashley Roth and Rodefeld both lost their first collegiate matches and fell to their respective consolation brackets.

Milller, against the top-seeded Sonja Moinar of the University of Iowa, bowed out, 6-3, 6-1.

Rodefeld and Miller teamed up for the doubles portion of the tournament seeking its first victory, but were trounced by University of Iowa’s doubles pair 8-2, thus falling to the consolation bracket for the doubles tournament.

As play continued into Saturday, success kept evading the Braves.

Rodefeld and Roth both lost again, ending their singles play.

Miller, seeded as the top seed in her consolation bracket, beat Emily Rogers of NIU in convincing fashion, 6-2, 6-2.

“She’s a few wins away in doubles from breaking the all-time records,” said coach Scott Petersen of his lone senior.

Miller is only 12 doubles victories away from breaking 2010 grad Emily Regenold’s record of 56 victories.

The combination Rodefeld and Miller were able to get a doubles victory against University of North Dakota’s, 8-4.

Since rain moved the singles and non-consolation doubles indoors, the rest of the brackets were cancelled and Bradley’s doubles team lost the opportunity to look for a second victory.

On Sunday, Rodefeld was quickly dominated by University of Missouri’s Jamie Mera 6-1, 6-0.

Miller’s match went into extras after University of South Dakota’s Verinika Makashov rebounded from a 7-5 beating to tie up the match with a 4-6 win.

Miller fell in extras 10-8 and ended the tournament with two victories.

Like the men’s tennis team, the women face the challenge of having a majority of freshmen and only one upperclassmen in Miller, Petersen said.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces,” Petersen said. “So you don’t know what they’re going to do and how they’re going to compete.”

Bradley ended its first tournament of the year with an overall record of 4-9.

The team’s next tournament, the State Farm MVC Individual Championship, at Illinois State will start Oct. 8.

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