Salukis’ streak ends at 10

By Terrance Peacock

The SIU women’s tennis team saw its match-streak record extend to double digits before seeing the it come to an end over the weekend against a nationally ranked opponent.

The Salukis swept the University of Tennessee-Martin 7-0 at the Sports Blast Thursday to extend its winning streak to 10 matches, the team’s longest streak in school history.

The victory also extended the Salukis’ record to 10-1, the team’s best start in school history.


The Salukis had little trouble with the visiting Skyhawks (2-9) as they took every point in doubles competition and won all three doubles matches.

Seniors Melanie Delsart and Anastacia Simons won their 10th-straight doubles match against UT-Martin’s Ivon Simic and Anna Marie Herbold, 8-2. The win improved the duo’s record to 22-2 on the season.

Juniors Korey Love and Anita Lee continued the Salukis’ success in doubles play with their 8-1 victory over Katie McCall and Johanie Van Zyl of UT-Martin, and sophomores Gisela and Ariadna Cairo Baza capped off the Salukis’ Skyhawks sweep with their 8-2 doubles victory over their counterparts Anna Winkelmann and Jessica Silva.

“Our doubles play was really solid today,” coach Audra Nothwehr said. “I like the pressure we are applying to our opponents.”

SIU continued its dominance against UT-Martin in singles competition as the Salukis won every match at all six positions.

Delsart won in the No. 1 spot (7-6, 6-3) against Simic, bringing her record to 7-3 on the season. Delsart struggled to find a consistency in the first set as the match was tied 6-6 going into the tiebreaker. Delsart then edged Simic in the tiebreaker to win the set and used her momentum to pick up the victory.

Delsart said she found difficulty early on in her match, but in the end, she found a rhythm and put her opponent away.


“I had a little trouble in the beginning with her (Simic’s) serves,” Delsart said. “She had really strong serves, but I ended up getting used to it a little more, then I was good.”

Delsart said the transition from playing outdoor to coming back indoor was another reason she struggled.

“We just came from spring break playing outside, and inside is faster, so I didn’t realize I had to be extra intense and extra fast,” she said.

Sophomore Natasha Tomishima continued her hot streak, besting her opponent (6-3, 6-4) at the No. 2 spot for her ninth-straight win and senior Jennifer Dien extended her singles streak to 12 matches with her (6-2, 6-0) win over Winkelmann at the four spot.

Next up for the Salukis was a Saturday match against the University of Memphis and Nothwehr said she anticipated the challenge.

“Memphis is a tough team. They’re a nationally ranked team and that could really help us,” Nothwehr said. “We have nothing to lose.”

The Salukis fell to the hands of the 31st-ranked Tigers 7-0 to end the team’s 10-match winning streak.

Although the Salukis lost, Nothwehr said she thought the team showed a strong performance.

“Although the team score didn’t reflect it, we really gave them some great matches,” Nothwehr said in a Saluki Athletics release. “I saw some of the best tennis I’ve seen all season and we had matches that could have gone either way.”

In doubles competition, Delsart and Simons were defeated 8-1 in the No. 1 spot by Memphis’ Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibberd.

In the two spot, Dien and Tomishima lost to Memphis’ 63rd-ranked doubles team, made up of Stefanie Mikesz and Caroline Wegner 8-2.

Memphis (12-4) also took every singles match against the Salukis to cap off the victory.

Delsart fell at the No. 1 flight (6-2, 6-4) to No. 39 Courtney Collins of Memphis, while Tomishima fell short at the No. 2 spot (7-6, 6-4) to end her nine-match winning streak.

SIU concluded their weekend matches Sunday against Arkansas State, where the Salukis fell to the hands of the Red Wolves 4-3.

The Salukis battled low temperatures and windy conditions during the match and managed to take the doubles point from Arkansas State (4-5) as Love and Lee won 8-1 at the No. 3 spot.

Tomishima and Dien won 8-3 in the No.2 spot in doubles competition.

The match came down to the No. 3 spot in singles competition where Lee fell to Arkansas State’s Bijana Miloshevska in three sets (6-2, 7-6, 6-4).

“We had our chance in today’s match, but we just came up short,” Nothwehr said.

The Salukis will be back in action Wednesday, when they travel to SIU Edwardsville to take on the Cougars.

Terrance Peacock can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext. 269.