ASU women's tennis concludes play at Ball State Invitational

MUNCIE, Ind. ( – The Arkansas State women's tennis team competed in the Ball State Invite over the weekend with the doubles team of Janie Nowland and Tamara Slijepcevic claiming a championship in their flight.

Nowland/Slijepcevic took on Valparaiso's pair of Hamel/Heuer in their first match and defeated them 8-1 before taking down Eastern Kentucky's due of Labeja/Poffo 8-7(3) on Friday.  On Saturday, A-State's pair defeated the team of Thurman/Raymond from Miami (Ohio) by a score of 8-3 to advance to the Doubles Flight A championship.  In the championship Sunday, A-State's pair of Nowland/Slijepcevic defeated Cleveland State's duo of Gbadamosi/Bensimon 8-2 to clinch the title.

A-State had two pairs in the doubles Flight B with Julie Gauguery and Jess Heeps-Eriksen teaming up for one duo, while Biljana Miloshevska and Victoria Pisani formed the other A-State team.  Gauguery/Heeps-Eriksen fell to Cleveland State's pair of Sherwood/Bush 8-5 in their first match before defeating Costea/Heerden of Miami (Ohio) 8-5 in a consolation match.  Guaguery/Heeps-Eriksen fell in their final match Saturday to Butler's due of Adami/Eaton 8-6.  Miloshevska/Pisani lost their first match to IUPUI's pair of Modesto/Bridegroom 8-3, before defeating Valparaiso's team of Barthels/Goheen 8-3.  Miloshevska/Pisani fell in their final match Sunday by a score of 8-4 to Costea/Heerden of Miami (Ohio).

In doubles Flight C action Chiara Stefanov and Sofia Krsmanovic were 0-2 in the tournament.  A-State's pair fell in their first match 8-0 to EKU's Faouzi/Jimenez before dropping an 8-4 decision to Wright State's McNamara/Steingass.

Slijepcevic was also successful in singles play over the weekend.  She was able to take her first match against Cleveland State's Princess Gbadamosi 6-4, 6-0.  Saturday, she defeated Ball State's Courtney Earnest in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, but fell to Christiana Raymond of Miami (Ohio) 6-4-6-3.  She was able to take home a third place finish Sunday as she defeated Miami's (Ohio) Alix Thurman by a count of 6-3, 2-6, 10-5.

In Flight B singles, Nowland won her first match against IUPUI's Rachel Swartwood by a score of 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 and Miloshevska fell in her first match against Illinois State's Emmie Marx in straight sets 7-6 (8), 6-4.  Nowland lost her second round match against Andrea Badileanu of Miami (Ohio) 6-4, 7-5, but bounced back to win her final match against Ball State's Kristel Sanders 4-6, 6-3, 10-5.  Meanwhile, Miloshevska stormed through the consolation bracket to win it.  She defeated Hanemas Pangestu of Chicago State 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and Cleveland State's Kara Sherwood 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the consolation finals.  Once there, Miloshevska defeated Illinois State's Carolina Abbello in straight sets 6-3, 7-5.

In Flight C singles, Heeps-Eriksen fell to Cleveland State's Victoria Bensimon 6-4, 6-0 and dropped to the consolation bracket, where she defeated Paige Heuer of Valparaiso in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.  Heeps-Eriksen's run ended in her next match when she dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Eastern Kentucky's Oscoz.  Gauguery defeated Kaitlyn Hamel of Valparaiso in straight sets 6-0, 6-1 before losing to Ana Rajkovic of Miami (Ohio) 6-3, 6-3.  In her final match of the tournament, Gauguery fell to Ball State's Bethany Moore by a count of 5-7, 6-4, 10-5.

In Flight D singles, Stefanov defeated Wright State's Chelsea Girgash in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 before falling to Ball State's Anna Rozenberg 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the second round.  Stefanov lost to EKU's Marcela Jimenez 6-0, 6-4 in her last match of the weekend.  Pisani was defeated by Rachel Bridegroom of IUPUI 6-3, 6-4 in her first match and lost to Notre Dame's Darby Mountford 6-3, 6-4.  Pisani bounced back to defeat Valparaiso's Megan Barthels 6-0, 6-0, but lost to Wright State's Girgash in her final match by a score of 6-7, 7-6, 10-5.

Krsmanovic was A-State's lone representative in Flight E singles and defeated IUPUI's Jackie Hyman in straight sets 6-0, 6-1 in her first match.  She lost a tough match to Illinois State's Heather Nisbet 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the second round, but was able to win her next match against Valparaiso's Morgan Paras 6-0, 6-0.  Krsmanovic ended the weekend on a high note by defeating IUPUI's Julie Brockman 4-6, 6-4, 10-5.

"Overall, we had a successful tournament," A-State women's tennis coach Marina Engelbrecht said.  "Janie and Tamara played great doubles for us and it was great to be the doubles champions in that flight.  I'm proud of Biljana for winning the consolation draw in her flight.  She played really well after dropping her first match."

The Arkansas State women's tennis team will be back in action Sunday, Sept. 29 at the Southern Illinois-Carbondale Invitational.