Marian women's tennis clinches NACC Tournament berth behind split

Celeste Degeneffe uses her forehand.

CHICAGO / AURORA, Ill. - Marian University women's tennis (9-6, 7-3 NACC) earned a NACC Tournament berth after falling to Illinois Tech 6-3 followed by a 9-0 sweep of Aurora.

Marian opened the day with Illinois Tech and the Sabres opened the match with a rally at No. 3 doubles to take a 2-1 lead after doubles.  Kyrsten Bruce and Kristin Houle were down 7-3 before winning six straight games to win 9-7.  Meg Hartzell and Celeste Degeneffe also earned a victory at No. 2 doubles.

Then in singles action, Degeneffe secured a sweep for the match with a 6-1, 4-6, 10-7 victory at No. 5 singles.

"We battled really tough in doubles action against IIT," commented head coach Brian Ottman.  "That set us up to take some early leads in singles action but we weren't able to finish."

The Sabres then closed out the fall portion of their season strong with a convincing sweep of Aurora.  The Degeneffe and Hartzell duo once again earned a No. 2 doubles win at 8-1, while Bruce teamed up with Erica Counter for an 8-1 victory at No. 3 doubles.  Emma Lewandowski and Mackenzie Meyers then secured the doubles sweep with an 8-4 win at the top flight.

All six singles matches were two-set victories for the Sabres led by Bruce who didn't drop a set at No. 3 with a 6-0, 6-0 win.  At No. 5, Houle only dropped one set winning 6-1, 6-0 and Brenda Ordonez at No. 6 only dropped two sets at 6-2, 6-0.  Meyers earned a No. 4 victory with 6-3, 6-0 scores and Lewandowski also took No. 2 singles 6-2, 6-2.  Hartzell then clinched the sweep at the top flight winning 6-1, 6-2.

"Against Aurora, we were able to get out early and really put the pedal to the metal," commented Ottman.  "I'm extremely proud of this team and the heart we were able to show.  We were able to close out the fall portion of the season and we look forward to using that momentum in the spring."

The Sabres have clinched at least the No. 4 seed for the NACC Tournament and will host a team to be determined Tuesday, April 30.

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