Tennis defeat ends historic winning streak
By Laura White
After winning 146 consecutive matches against conference opponents, the women’s tennis team had its historic streak come to an end Saturday, falling to Detroit, 4-3, at the Flames Outdoor Tennis Courts.
Prior to the match, UIC honored its lone senior, Haley Craig, who was 2-0 on the day in doubles and singles play.
UIC (11-5, 3-1 Horizon League) hadn’t been defeated by a conference opponent since the 1996 season, when the Flames fell to Green Bay in the postseason tournament final.
The Titans were a challenge for the Flames from the start, as the teams began in doubles and Detroit took two of three matches to jump out to a 1-0 lead.
At No. 1 doubles, Craig and Mariana Palacios downed Elena Strakhova and Valery Kulikovskaya, 8-3, for the first win of the match.
Kathryn Sharples and Jana Knoppe suffered an 8-4 loss at No. 2 to Nino Sujashvili and Irina Slizovskaya.
Natalia Kuvakina and Ann-Sophie Hahn fell to Raina Halabi and Chloe Karoub, 8-6, at No. 3.
In singles, UIC had three of its matches extend to a decisive third set and claimed two straight-set wins from Craig and Knoppe.
Craig recorded her second win of the day at No. 2, taking down Julia Fernandes, 6-0, 6-4, before Knoppe collected a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 5 over Halabi.
Palacios produced UIC’s final win of the day after capturing a three-set (5-7, 6-3, 6-1) win at No. 1 over Karoub to improve to 2-0 at the position.
UIC had three tough losses to end the match: Sharples dropped a 7-6 (5), 6-3 decision to Kulikovskaya at No. 4; Kuvakina fell in the final two frames, 6-2 and 6-3, to Slizovskaya; and Keti Mebuke was defeated by Strakhova, 5-7, 6-3 and 7-5, at No. 6.
The Flames will return to action at 12:05 p.m. Friday, facing Youngstown State in Ohio. They take on Cleveland State on the road at 11 a.m. Saturday.