W tennis: Freshman Flannery seals victory for Salukis

By Gus Bode

The Saluki women’s tennis team took their match against Southeast Missouri State down to the wire and came out with the win, 4-2.

With SIU up 3-2 with one match to go Wednesday, freshman Jessica Flannery played her singles match with a Saluki victory on the line. Flannery, a Hamilton, Ohio native, pulled off the close win in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

Flannery said it was business as usual and she was not looking to go into a third set.

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“I really wanted to win the match so we didn’t have to play doubles,” Flannery said. “So there was a little bit of pressure, but not much.”

SIU (11-6, 2-2) hosted Southeast Missouri State (11-12, 5-4) at Sports Blast in Carbondale after rain forced the move indoors. Time restraints would have caused the doubles matches to be played after the singles only if necessary.

The Salukis got off to a slow start as SIU junior Sabine Tsala Mvilongo picked up the lone victory in the first three singles matches in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. The win snapped her two-game losing skid.

Tsala Mvilongo is 13-10 in singles competition this season and said with the victory she has regained the mindset she had before her two match losing streak.

“I feel more confident because against Illinois State and Indiana State I felt a lot of pressure,” Tsala Mvilongo said. “So this weekend I think we will be very confident and we’ll play better I’m sure.”

The Salukis were down 2-1 going into the singles matches but came back to tie it with wins by freshman Martina Vianna Ce and Michela Cruise. Vianna Ce did not give up a single point to her opponent in straight sets and won 6-0, 6-0.

Saluki coach Rene Vidal said the win over Southeast Missouri State will boost morale after the two losses last weekend.

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“We ran into two very tough teams last weekend,” Vidal said.

The Salukis travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to face Northern Iowa Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by a trip to Des Moines, Iowa, to take on Drake Sunday at 10 a.m.

[email protected] 536-3311 ext. 282

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