Northeastern State women’s tennis falls in MIAA tournament final

From NSU Sports Info.
Cedrique Flemming, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The No. 21-ranked Northeastern State women’s tennis team lost 5-2 to No. 19 Southwest Baptist in the finals of the 2015 MIAA Championship Sunday morning at Cooper Tennis Complex.

The Bearcats (22-2) won their fourth-straight conference tournament title, and they have now defeated the RiverHawks (18-5) in the finals each of the last three years. NSU has been the No. 1 seed in the tournament each of the last two seasons.

The first decision came at No. 1 doubles, where No. 4 Fanni Varga and Christina Zentai defeated the No. 12-ranked duo of juniors Kristina Savchenkov and Patricia Husakova 8-3.

NSU got a point back on the third doubles court, where senior Barbora Jirickova and freshman Easton Parker teamed up to defeat Beatrix Federer and Zorana Jovanovic 8-2.

The swing point went in favor of the second-seeded Bearcats, as Maria Josie Zehnder and Lani Tuemmers defeated sophomore Valeriia Efimenko and freshman Molly Worden 8-4 on the second court.

Varga, ranked No. 20 in the nation in singles, earned a third point for SBU when she defeated No. 21-ranked Savchenkov 6-1, 6-2 at the top of the lineup. Zentai, ranked No. 22 in the nation, pushed the Bearcats to the brink of victory when she defeated Husakova 6-1, 6-1 on the second court.

Efimenko gave the RiverHawks a second point when she defeated Tuemmers 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) on the fourth court, but Zehnder clinched the match moments later when she topped Worden 6-2, 6-1 at the third flight.

The final two singles matches went unfinished.

Northeastern State will now wait to see if the team will be selected to host one of the two NCAA Central Regionals. The RiverHawks entered the final week of the season as the top seed in the region. The NCAA Selection Show will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 28 on NCAA.com.