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Bulldogs Face Road Tests At Wichita State And Creighton

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: April 18, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD: With seeding at the upcoming State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship on the line, the Drake women's tennis team closes out its regular season this weekend as the Bulldogs face road tests at Wichita State and Creighton.  The showdown with the Shockers is slated for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday (April 21) before Drake closes the regular season campaign at Creighton on Sunday (April 22) at 10:00 a.m.

A LOOK BACK: The Drake women's tennis team cracked the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1992 on the strength of the Bulldogs' 5-2 victory at Evansville last Sunday (April 15).

The Bulldogs were forced to come from behind to earn the triumph after the Purple Aces collected the doubles tally with wins at the Nos. 1 and 3 positions.

Drake came out determined to start singles play and the results showed as the Bulldogs rolled off three unanswered victories to stake themselves to a 3-1 advantage.

Senior Amanda Aragon (Fort Collins, Colo.) bested Kelsey Costales at No. 6, 6-2, 6-3 before freshman Nell Boyd (Arlington Heights, Ill.) gave the Bulldogs their third tally of the match registering a 6-2, 6-2 triumph at the No. 4 position.

Senior Gabriela Demos (Chesterfield, Mo.) sealed the affair in Drake's favor on court No. 3, dispatching Natasha James in three sets, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (5).  Junior Ali Patterson (Overland Park, Kan.) rounded out the victory total for the Bulldogs registering a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 at the No. 5 slot.

Drake's bid to earn its 20th victory of the season was thwarted by Southern Illinois a day earlier on Saturday (April 14) as the Salukis earned a 4-3 decision past the Bulldogs.

Sophomore Klavdija Rebol (Kranj, Slovenia) posted a 6-0, 6-1 victory at the No. 2 slot, before Aragon dispatched Gisela Cairo Baza at No. 6, 6-2, 6-2.  Demos closed out the win total for Drake claiming a 6-7, 6-4, 2-1 triumph after Anita Lee retired in the third set.

IN OUR LAST MEETINGS: Drake was dealt a 7-0 setback at the hands of Wichita State, the defending Missouri Valley Conference champions, on April 23, 2011, at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

Despite Wichita State taking the first set in each of the six singles matches, the Bulldogs continued to show fight as both Klavdija Rebol and Jessica Aguilera (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) battled back to claim second-set victories at the Nos. 3 and 4 slots, respectively, to force deciding third frames.

In the third set, Rebol came up short against Veronika Blaskova, 6-0, 6-7 (7), 10-4, while Carla Venticinque bested Aguilera, 6-3, 1-6, 10-7.

A day earlier, Drake dispatched Creighton, 6-1, on April 22, 2011, at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

The two sides split the doubles contests at the Nos. 2 and 3 slots before the tandem of Gabriela Demos and Manca Krizman clinched the deciding tally for Drake with an 8-4 victory at the No. 1 position.

In singles, Krizman and Amanda Aragon staked the Bulldogs to a 3-0 advantage after recording wins at the Nos. 1 and 5 holes, respectively.  Within seconds of Krizman's triumph, Drake earned the decision in the match, as Jessica Labarte downed Leesa Cadwallader at No. 6, 6-3, 6-1.

UP NEXT: Drake heads to Omaha, Neb., to open competition at the State Farm MVC Championship (April 27-29).

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