Women's Tennis

The Nebraska Women’s Tennis team high fives before the match against Wichita State at the Dillon Tennis Center on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Nebraska Women’s Tennis team is halfway through its season, competing in the 15K Texas Tech ITF event from Sept. 27-30. Nebraska brought down to Texas just four from its roster, sophomores Kristina Novak, Isabel Adrover Gallego, Vivien Sandberg and freshman Jillian Roa.

In the first round of qualifiers, Novak faced off against Virginia Tech freshman Semra Aksu. In the first set Novak won 6-2 while the second set was closer, leading to a tie-breaking game as both players won six games a piece. The tie-breaking game went to Aksu, which meant a third set was to be played to determine the first round winner. Novak surged during the third set, winning 10-4 and advancing to the next qualifying round in singles competition.

Roa battled Baylor’s senior Alicia Linana, with Linana taking the first set  6-2. In the second set, Roa won two more games than the first set. However, this was still not enough as Linana defeated Roa in the second set 6-4. 

The second day, Gallego played against Oklahoma senior Ivana Corley. The first set was won by Corley, allowing Gallego to win only one game with a set score of 6-1. The second set wasn’t much different as Gallego fell to Corley 6-2. 

Sandberg encountered junior Emma Lella in the first round who won within two sets in the first round while Sandberg had a bye. The first set Sandberg won 6-4 and then proceeded to win the second set 6-3.

After a win in the first round, Novak clashed with 21-one-year old Rita Maria Bentes De Oliveira Pinto who obtained a bye by also having her first singles match in the second round. Novak, fresh off a first round close call, dominated Pinto in the second round, winning the first set 6-2 and winning the second set 6-3. 

The last round of qualifying matches included an opponent Loa was squared off  with previously, Linana. This time she takes on a different member of the Cornhuskers, Sandberg. In the opening set, Linana swept Sandberg 6-0 and although the second set was an improvement for Sandberg,  it was not enough to take down Linana as Sandberg lost 6-3. 

In the same round, Novak continued her dominance, beating  TCU freshman Helena Narmont 6-1 in the first set. Narmont and Novak kept the second set competitive, forcing a seventh game but would be won by Narmont. In the final set, Novak fell 10-6 and the Huskers’ best singles performer finally lost a match.

The first round of doubles play saw Novak team up with Gallego while Sandberg paired up with Loa. Novak and Gallego’s first challenge was against Maria Kononova and Kelly Williford.  The Williford and Kononova duo went on to win seven games during the first set while the Huskers won five games but the second wouldn’t be as competitive. The second set, Williford and Kononova took home the victory over Novak and Gallego 6-3.

The Roa and Sanberg tandem took on the duo of Oklahoma State freshman Oona Orpana and Syracuse sophomore Viktoryia Kanapatakaya. Roa and Sanberg would lose both sets against their opponent, 6-3 and 6-2 respectively.

In singles competition, the Huskers had a record of 3-4 but went  winless in doubles action, going 0-2. Novak and Sandberg advanced to the final round of the qualifying draw, but both lost. Novak had the best singles record for the Huskers at 3-1.

No Husker advanced past the qualifying round in either singles or doubles, cutting Nebraska’s time in Lubbock, Texas by a good chunk. This would leave the singles main draw without any Huskers.

After the qualifying rounds, Linana, Narmont and Oklahoma’s pair of junior Carmen Corley and senior Ivana Corleyall advanced to the main draw of singles action.

The Huskers next head to Charleston,South Carolina for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Tournament, going from Oct. 4-10.