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Braves turn back the clock, replicating 7-0 sweep over Western Illinois

Junior Madalena Andrade prepares for the return hit. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

Last weekend, Bradley tennis swept Western Illinois 7-0 in the team’s best performance of the year by far. It was also déjà vu for Braves’ head coach Matt Tyler, who swept the Leathernecks 7-0 in his coaching debut in 2013.

Starting off with doubles, the junior-sophomore combo of Madalena Andrade and Kirstin Hailey had a close set but took home an overall win of 7-5. After them, freshman Anna Belogliadova and junior Maria Bezmenova had a more decisive win with a 6-3 finish to clinch the doubles point. To complete the doubles sweep, the junior-freshman team of Alexandra Hildreth and Madi Rogers achieved a 7-5 win.

In the singles competition, Hailey almost shut out her opponent winning 6-1, 6-0. Andrade and Hildreth had similar performances with the former finishing 6-1, 6-1 and the latter winning 6-1, 6-1 as the Braves continued to flex their superiority over Western Illinois. It was a particularly impressive performance as the Leathernecks were only able to win three sets against Hailey, Andrade and Hildreth combined.

Continuing the sweep was Bradley’s Mariia Pukhina who had a tight first set of 6-4 but took care of business in the second set winning 6-0. Bezmenova had the same results as Pukhina just in a different set order, winning 6-0, 6-4. Belogliadova continued the trend upward as she won both her sets 6-1, 6-4.

After a rollercoaster of wins and losses in their previous four matches before Western Illinois, the team is happy to get such a decisive win going into their Louisiana road trip. The Braves play Southeastern Louisiana at noon on March 11.

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