Western Courier

Tennis to take down the Pioneers

Mary+Bjelica+returns+the+ball
Mary Bjelica returns the ball

Mary Bjelica returns the ball

PioneersJOSH PURNELL/ COURIER STAFF

PioneersJOSH PURNELL/ COURIER STAFF

Mary Bjelica returns the ball

Bradley Piros, Assistant Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






MACOMB Ill. — The Western Illinois women’s tennis team heads cross-country to the Stapleton Tennis Complex in Denver, Colorado to take part in the Summit League Championships. This will be Western’s first trip back in four years, and they absolutely feel like they can come out on top.

It’s a semi-final one match play in to the championship, and the matchups are as followed: Western (No. 4 seed) will go up against the top seeded Denver Pioneers, while the No. 2 seeded Omaha Mavericks will face off against the No. 3 seed in the University of South Dakota Jackrabbits.

It will be one tough task ahead to take down the home team, especially after not meeting this season because of a rain out. The element of surprise will certainly be in effect during this matchup. The two sides have played each other in seasons past though, as Denver swept the Leathernecks 7-0 last year, and 6-0 the year before that.

Needless to say, the Leathernecks are coming into this matchup with a chip on their shoulder, and really want to make a statement in the tournament. They haven’t been in this position in four years, so they don’t want to mess things up now.

Western really wants to take down the Pioneers, and to do so, they’re going to have to come out strong. Thankfully, they are pretty good at doing that and they have the team to do it this year.

Mary and Ana Bjelica have been tearing it up together in duos, as the freshman sisters have been making their dad, as well as head coach Mirko Bjelica very proud. Mary is currently on a 12-match win streak and leads the team in wins with 13 on the season.

In the No. 1 doubles spot is senior Courtney Lubbers and sophomore Natalia Bravo. This duo has combined for five wins, and has been a force to deal with, that the Pioneers will definitely not see coming.

The three seniors, Lubbers, Maria Bessmertnaya and Cary Milanes have come up clutch all season, and were celebrated on senior day against the visiting Quincy University Hawks. They won that contest 7-0 in only their second home meet of the spring season.

Western finished the regular season 10-7 and 3-2 in conference. They lost to the three other teams in the tournament, so it’s going to be a little tough. Denver is coming into the match full of confidence as they finished the season 17-4 and 4-0 in conference.

Either way, it doesn’t matter what they did in the regular season. Both of these teams want to win the Summit League Championship and clinch a berth in the NCAA Championships, but they’ll have to get past each other if they want to make it there.

The match is set to start at 10 a.m. today and if they win they’ll play again tomorrow in the finals at 11 a.m. It won’t be easy, as they have yet to beat these three teams, but the Leathernecks will not go down without a fight.

Twitter: bradjp08

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Sports

    Football sacked by South Dakota

  • Sports

    Bears look to make final playoff push

  • Tennis to take down the Pioneers

    Sports

    Men’s basketball baffled by Bluejays

  • Tennis to take down the Pioneers

    Sports

    Necks stunned by SEC in season opener

  • Tennis to take down the Pioneers

    Sports

    Football looks to keep playoff hopes alive

  • Sports

    UEFA Champions League update

  • Tennis to take down the Pioneers

    Sports

    Leathernecks end season on a high

  • Tennis to take down the Pioneers

    Sports

    Swimming sinks in home meet

  • Tennis to take down the Pioneers

    Sports

    Women’s volleyball to wrap up season

  • Tennis to take down the Pioneers

    Sports

    How the Warriors ruined the NBA

The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Tennis to take down the Pioneers