SIU women’s tennis sweeps Missouri State in final home match in program history


Saluki senior Polina Dozortseva, left, and junior Vitoria Beirao embrace Saturday, April 15, 2017, following Dozortseva’s singles match. The Salukis beat the Missouri State Bears 6-1 during the final home tennis match in program history at the University Courts. (Bill Lukitsch | @lukitsbill)

By Jonathan Thompson

A large crowd gathered at the University Courts Saturday to watch the SIU women’s tennis team one last time as the Salukis beat the Missouri State Bears 6-1.

Southern (9-11, 3-2 MVC) won all but one match in its 6-1 victory over the Bears.

“You’ve got to bring players down a little bit because they’re so wound up,” said coach Audra Anderson. “So the message was go out there and have fun. The win or loss doesn’t matter as much as long as you have fun.”


SIU won all three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point.

Senior Ana Sofia Cordero and junior Xiwei Cai took down the Bears 6-2 at the number one position for their fourth conference victory.

At position three doubles, senior Polina Dozortseva and junior Athena Chrysanthou won 6-2. The duo is undefeated in conference play.

With SIU having already clinched the doubles point, senior Meagan Monaghan and junior Vitoria Beirao won in a deciding set tiebreak 7-6 (4) at position two, giving SIU its first doubles sweep of the conference season.

For the first time this season all three seniors won their doubles matches.

The Salukis went on to win five of their six singles matches.

Cordero lost at the No.1 singles position, giving Missouri State its only point of the day.


Monaghan stayed undefeated in the MVC with her 6-2, 6-2 victory at the No. 4 position.

Cai won her match 6-2, 6-2 along with Beirao and Dozortseva who won their matches in straight sets.

Chrysanthou won the final match of the afternoon — with teammates and fans cheering her on — for the final victory on Saluki courts. Despite losing the first set 4-6, she won the next set 6-2 and 10-5 in the deciding third set tiebreak.

Chrysanthou’s victory was her fourth in MVC play, tying her with Monaghan for the most on team.

At the end of the match, three seniors were recognized alongside the rest of their teammates for their role in the final season of SIU tennis.

“Our favorite memories will be on this court,” Anderson said. “When the fans really show up on senior days or at big matches they really pull us through from 4-3 wins or when it came down to a last match.”

In January, SIU athletics announced the men’s and women’s tennis teams would be cut, effective July 1, as the result of a historic state budget impasse soon approaching its second year.

“It’s obviously a devastating time for us,” the coach of ten seasons said. “We’re closing the doors to this [program]. I hope that the girls will take the life lessons they’ve learned on the tennis court and apply them to life … like you have to show up every day with your best and that’s what you gave to do in life.”

The Salukis have two matches left in conference play — the first is against Northern Iowa at 1 p.m on Saturday.

Coach Anderson said “UNI is always a hard road match,” adding that she wants the team to focus on “working the doubles points and bringing energy to the match.”

Staff writer Jonathan Thompson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TheReal_Jt3.

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