Bradley tennis kicked off its spring season in style by claiming a 4-3 win over the Chicago State Cougars Saturday afternoon at Parkside Fitness in Pekin, Ill.
In the doubles matches, Bradley struggled to make way.
The pair of junior Madalena Andrade and sophomore Kirstin Hailey lost the opener 7-5. The team of junior Alexandra Hildreth and freshman Mariia Pukhina lost 6-3 in the following duel but the Braves would be victorious in the final doubles match. Freshman Anna Belogliadova and junior Maria Bezmenova grabbed Bradley’s first doubles win of the new season by a 6-4 score.
Where the Braves were able to pull ahead was at the singles matches later in the day. Pukhina started in the lead after her first set by winning it 7-6, but lost the next two at 6-1, 6-2. Belogliadova won in straight sets giving Bradley their first singles win, but not their last. Hailey muscled through two seven-match sets but came away the winner in both by scores of 7-5, 7-6.
Bezmenova lost her first set 6-1 but didn’t let it discourage her, winning the next two by matching 6-4 scores. Andrade won her first set in convincing fashion 6-0 and then a more competitive 6-4 set to give Bradley another point.
Similar to Pukhina, freshman Madi Rodgers had a hard-fought first set of a 7-6 win, but then lost 6-1. In the final set, Rodgers and her opponent Manuella Eloundou went back and forth until Eloundou was able to finish off Rodgers by a final of 10-8.
Securing four wins out of the six singles matches was enough to win the weekend for Bradley, despite losing the doubles point.
“It’s always tough to lose the doubles point and come back to win 4 out of 6 singles matches for the win,” head coach Matt Tyler said. “I think we showed great focus and determination against a very good [Chicago State] team.”
Bradley hits the road looking to go 2-0 in Omaha, Neb., this Saturday versus former MVC rival Creighton before facing Omaha on Sunday.