MILWAUKEE, Wis. – In its second tournament of the fall slate, the Lipscomb women’s tennis team took steps in the right direction as Kateryna Popova and Viktoriya Dzyuba both picked up big wins against a loaded field in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Popova and Dzyuba were the only Lady Bisons to compete in the classic with an entry into the main draw at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championship on the line.
On Thursday in the 64-player singles draw, Popova got things rolling with a (6-3, 2-6, 7-5) victory over Colorado State’s Emily Luetschwager. The sophomore from Ukraine fell (3-6, 1-6) in the round of 32 against No. 5 Silvia Ambrosio of Purdue.
Dzyuba had a similar showing despite a multitude of adversity.
Her opening match was supposed to get under way at 1:45 p.m., however first serve did not happen until after 6. After winning the first set, Dzyuba was up 5-4 in the second when the match got moved indoors, causing her to lose momentum and the set. The senior then battled back in the final frame, staving off a match point, to take down Utah State’s Hannah Jones (6-2, 5-7, 7-5).
Dzyuba’s road in singles action came to a close (2-6, 6-4, 1-6) against No. 2 seed Katarina Stresnakova of Oklahoma State in the round of 32.
“To win matches at a tournament of this level is a huge step for our program as a whole,” Lipscomb head coach Jamie Aid said. “I am very proud of both girls as they continued to fight.”
The duo teamed up in the 32-team doubles bracket on Friday, where they knocked off Arkansas’ tandem of Lauren Alter and Martina Zerulo, 8-6.
The Lady Bisons closed out the classic late Friday night with an impressive showing against Oklahoma’s No. 5 seeded duo of Martina Capurro and Camila Romero. Lipscomb’s pair played well and even held match point over the Sooners at 8-7. However, failing to win the deuce point allowed OU to bring the match to a tie breaker where it would eventually escape with a 9-8 victory to eliminate Popova and Dzyuba.
“We played really well against Oklahoma Friday night,” Aid said. “I was impressed with the level of play from both Kate and Vika and I am excited for their continued improvement during the fall season.”
Lipscomb is back in action next weekend (Sept 28-30) when it travels to West Lafayette, Indiana to compete in the Purdue Invite.