NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb women’s tennis team continued its strong start to the season over the weekend by earning a pair of victories over Western Kentucky and Illinois State at the Whitworth Racquet Club.
The Lady Bisons improved to 6-2 on the year for their best start since 2016. They also have now won six straight matches at home dating back to last season.
“We have played a hard schedule and have seen great production in singles, especially in the top of our lineup,” Lipscomb head coach Jamie Aid said. “Doubles is starting to really click over the past couple of weeks, that is where we’ve struggled in the early portion of our indoor season.”
The top pairing of Vika Dzyuba and Kate Popova won both of their matches to help the Lipscomb to its fifth doubles point in six matches. The duo took a 6-0 victory over Western Kentucky on Friday and then followed with a 7-5 win over the Redbirds on Saturday.
“This week we have struggled a bit with illness and it caused one of our most productive players (Denise Buberl) to not play,” Aid said. “With her absence, we paired new doubles teams at two and three.
“It was a great opportunity for us to reach into our depth and have some players step up.”
In total, the Lady Bisons combined to go 9-2 over the weekend.
On the other side of the net, it was senior Madeleine Brooks and freshman Liza Diachenko who led the charge as both went 2-0 against the Hilltoppers (0-6) and the Redbirds (5-3).
In the No. 3 spot, Brooks swept WKU’s Lucia Diaz Saez 6-0, 6-1 Friday and then took down ISU’s Jana Kustkova 6-2, 6-1 Saturday to improve to 6-2 on the year.
Diachenko earned her first career victories in singles after beginning her freshman campaign 0-4. She swept WKU 6-1, 6-1 on Friday before clinching the match for the Lady Bisons on Saturday with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win.
“Liza has in multiple spots this season, and she clinched both matches over the weekend stepping into the No. 4 spot for both matches.”
Lipscomb begins a 4-match road swing next weekend with a trip to Memphis. The Lady Bisons will take on Connecticut at 2 p.m. Saturday before playing Memphis at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Friday, February 15: Lipscomb 4, Western Kentucky 0
- Vika Dzyuba (LIP-W) def. Laura Bernardos (WKU) 6-0, 6-1
- Lisa Friess (WKU) vs. Kate Popova (LIP-W) no result
- Madeleine Brooks (LIP-W) def. Lucia Diaz Saez (WKU) 6-0, 6-1
- Liza Diachenko (LIP-W) def. Judit Gonzalez Agud (WKU) 6-1, 6-1
- Zeniece Charles-Hall (WKU) vs. Maddox Bandy (LIP-W) no result
- Kyla Dilger (WKU) vs. Thabile Tshatedi (LIP-W) no result
- Kate Popova/Vika Dzyuba (LIP-W) def. Laura Bernardos/Lisa Friess (WKU) 6-0
- Thabile Tshatedi/Madeleine Brooks (LIP-W) vs. Lucia Diaz Saez/Judit Gonzalez Agud (WKU) 2-3, unfinished
- Maddox Bandy/Liza Diachenko (LIP-W) def. Zeniece Charles-Hall/Kyla Dilger (WKU) 6-0
Saturday, February 16: Lipscomb 4, Illinois State 1
- Vika Dzyuba (LIP) vs. Veronika Golanova (ISU) 6-2, 6-7, 2-4, unfinished
- Kate Popova (LIP) def. Tara Damnjanovic (ISU) 6-0, 6-0
- Madeleine Brooks (LIP) def. Jana Kustkova (ISU) 6-2, 6-1
- Liza Diachenko (LIP) def. Natalia Bravo (ISU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
- Maddox Bandy (LIP) vs. Laura Fitzgerald (ISU) 4-6, 3-1, unfinished
- Ivon Mihaleva (ISU) def. Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 6, 4
- Vika Dzyuba/Kate Popova (LIP) def. Veronika Golanova/Jana Kustkova (ISU) 7-5
- Madeleine Brooks/Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) def. Tara Damnjanovic/Natalia Bravo (ISU) 6-4
- Laura Fitzgerald/Ivon Mihaleva (ISU) def. Maddox Bandy/Liza Diachenko (LIP) 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1