GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Creighton women’s tennis head coach Tom Lilly earned his 500th career victory on Saturday afternoon as the Bluejays squeaked past Air Force, 4-3, at the Choice Health & Fitness center in Grand Forks, N.D.
Lilly, the all-time winningest coach in Creighton tennis history, became just the fourth coach in Creighton history to collect 500 career victories. He joins long time softball coaches Brent Vigness (819) and Mary Higgins (564), as well as head baseball coach Ed Servais (618) as the only coaches to secure 500 wins at Creighton.
With the win, Creighton improves to 2-0 on the year, while Air Force falls to 0-3 overall.
Sophomore Valerie Negin and freshman Ana Paula Martinez got doubles started with a quick 6-1 win at the No. 2 doubles position, but Air Force answered with a 6-1 and 6-4 victory at the No. 1 and No. 3 spots to earn the first point of the afternoon.
In singles play, senior Kate Krueger was forced to retire due to an injury, which gave the Falcons an early 2-0 advantage. That lead didn’t last long as junior Malvika Shukla claimed a 6-4, 6-1 straight sets win at the No. 3 singles position and freshman Annika Elvestrom captured a 6-3, 6-3 victory at the No. 6 slot.
The Bluejays took the lead moments later when graduate transfer Leanne Kendall earned a 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 win at the No. 5 singles position, giving Creighton a 3-2 advantage. Martinez then clinched the match at the No. 4 spot, collecting a 6-1, 6-5, 6-1 victory over Air Force’s Andrea Le.
“Although we struggled in doubles again today, I loved how hard our team competed,” said Lilly. “We will need to focus on our doubles in practice this next week, but this was a very good win for the Jays. It was a tough one losing Kate to an injury, but we know she will rehab and get back very soon.”
Creighton returns to the court on Friday, February 3, when they travel across town to battle Omaha. First serve between the Bluejays and Mavericks is schedule for 7:00 p.m. at the Miracle Hills Tennis Center.
Creighton 4, Air Force 3
Jan 28, 2023 at Grand Forks, N.D. (Choice Health & Fitness)
|1. Sydney Fitch (AF) def. Kate Krueger (CU) 4-6, 4-4, retired|
|2. Alexs Odom (AF) def. Valerie Negin (CU) 6-3, 6-7, 6-4|
|3. Malvika Shukla (CU) def. Isabella Flodin (AF) 6-4, 6-1|
|4. Ana Paula Martinez (CU) def. Abby Cotuna (AF) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1|
|5. Leanne Kendall (CU) def. Courtney Swift (AF) 6-1, 1-6, 6-3|
|6. Annika Elvestrom (CU) def. Andrea Le (AF) 6-3, 6-3|
|Air Force 0-3|