Illinois State Outlasts Saint Louis for the 5-2 Victory
March 29, 2006
NORMAL, Ill. - The Redbirds began their match with a solid 3-0 lead, winning all flights in doubles, but the single rounds brought tough challenges for Illinois State which made the win a struggle. Katri Miller and Carolyne Parent's final pull throughs in their matches enabled the team to stabilize a 5-2 win over the Billikens.
Saint Louis proved to be no match for Illinois State's double pairs as the Redbirds dominated all matches. After a leave due to illness, Michelle Rabinovich was back with Miller in number one doubles. Miller and Rabinovich took Katerina Lozanova and Tara Grant by storm with their strong play and won 8-2.
Michelle Rabinovich's performance showed no sign of weakness.
"I was really sick, but I feel almost 100% better," said Rabinovich. "I was just so eager to play again, and it feels so good to be competing."
Aside from number one doubles, Ashley Maxwell and and Véronique Parke-Bédard's long match proved the pair's great stamina which gave them the 8-4 win over Amanda Hellberg and Ana Renda in number two doubles. Number three double pair, Nicole Schneider and Matea Simovic, downed Rachel McCullogh and Caitlin Bokulic 8-1.
The doubles were no contest for Illinois State, however, the challenges arose in the singles matches. Parke-Bédard had a tough fight but lost her flight two match up, and Megan Rozboril's defeat for the number six position put the `Birds neck at neck with the Billikens. Fortunately, Emilie Sechaud earned a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over Ana Renda in number three singles, and Nicole Schneider won 6-3, 6-0 for the number five position.
The nail biting came when Parent and Miller's matches were still in progress and both were too close to call. Miller won her first set 6-2 against Lozanova but fell 2-6 in her second set which resulted in a split set. Miller and Lozanova then played a third set to decipher the winner. Miller stayed strong and fought for the win for the final score 6-2. Parent's face off was another stressful match to watch as she lost 4-6 in the first set but came back to tie Tara Grant with her 6-4 win. Parent and Grant then competed in the third set for the tie breaker. Parent's endurance outweighed Grant and won 6-1.
Head coach Chris Hoover knows the team fought hard and was pleased with the performances.
"I thought Katri played very well in her thirst match set," said Hoover. "She did well against Katerina because Katerina is a tough player who is hard to read and stays cool and calm in her matches."
As the Redbirds approach Bradley this Friday at McCormick Courts, at 3 p . m., Hoover concentrates on the important things.
"We can't concern ourselves with the product, such as winning, but rather concern ourselves with the process," said Hoover. "We need to forget about losing and winning, and think about producing good tennis."