Lech Places Third in Finals
Senior Natalia Lech
Senior Natalia Lech

Oct. 4, 2009

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Senior Natalia Lech took third place Sunday, as the Illinois State women's tennis team completed the USAFA Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In singles play, Lech competed against Knop (UNC) in the Charlie Flight besting her, 6-2, 6-0. Freshman Ariane Maack competed in the Eco Flight against Sophie Chang (HAR) and lost,6-1, 6-3, taking fourth place.

Head coach Chris Hoover believes Lech and Maack had a chance to win in the finals but the competition was too tough.

"Natalia played very well this weekend and so did Ariane," Hoover said. "The both of them had a real shot at making it into the finals but their opponents were tough competitors."

In doubles play, senior Julia Zubkova and sophomore Franziska Steinhardt competed in the Flight 1 doubles back draw against Laura Neal and Caitlin Fluegge (CSU). The Redbird duo was down, 3-7, but came back to win it in the end, 9-7.

After a tough weekend, Hoover was pleased with the way his team fought back and finds the weekend to be of value.

"Julia and Franziska were down in the beginning," Hoover said. "But they fought back and won the match 9-7. They were fighting it off all morning and it was a decent way to end a good, hard, tough and long weekend. I believe it's going to be something of value. It felt like we were battling all weekend but in the end when I have time to reflect, it will end up being a positive weekend for us and something that will help us in the long run. The team needs to keep thinking positive for next weekend at the Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championship."

The Redbirds will continue on the court at the Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championship in Evansville, Ind., Oct. 9-11.

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