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April 18, 2024

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Netters stumble across finish line, drop two matches at home

It was a disappointing weekend for the BG women’s tennis team as it closed out its regular season with two losses on its home court.

BG, 12-8 overall and 4-4 in the Mid-American Conference, dropped a close match 4-3 on Friday against Eastern Michigan and lost to rival Toledo in Saturday’s action 6-1.

“These were big matches, and we just didn’t step up to play,” said BG Coach Penny Dean.

The netters got off to a good start in the Eastern Michigan match claiming the doubles point with victories from Stefanie Menoff/Andrea Volle and Ashley Jakupcin/Samantha Kintzel.

Eastern Michigan then went on to win the top four flights of singles, which sealed the match for the Eagles.

Menoff kept her MAC record unblemished as she defeated Joanna Woo 6-2, 6-2 at the sixth singles flight. The win moved her to a perfect 7-0 record in conference play and upped her season record to 23-2.

Jenna Nussbaum also posted a victory against her opponent in two sets 6-4, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.

Saturday’s match, played in front of a large crowd and underneath the hot sun, was an intense match for a variety of reasons.

The Falcons were playing their final match on their home court and their final regular season match, making it the last time seniors Ashley Jakupcin and Erica Wolfe ever play on Keefe Courts.

Additionally, the team was taking on its archrival that traveled just 20 miles down Interstate 75 to spoil Senior Day for the netters.

“I think we are a better indoor team,” said Dean. The Falcons were a perfect 7-0 in dual match play at their indoor facility Shadow Valley.

The Rockets claimed the doubles point, but not without a valiant effort from the Falcons.

At No. 3 doubles, Ashley Jakupcin and Kintzel dropped their opponents 8-0, leaving it up to the top two flights to win the doubles point.

At the top flight of doubles, the duo of Kelsey Jakupcin/Nussbaum dropped their set 9-7 after taking their opponents to a tie-breaker and nearly coming all the way back from a 7-3 deficit.

Libby Harrison and Andrea Volle followed suit as they lost their match by a narrow margin of 9-8 also in a tie-breaker.

In singles play, Ashley Jakupcin, making her final appearance on her home court was the only Falcon to claim a victory in singles round of play.

“It was exciting. I thought I would be emotional since it is my last home match, but since we have such a rivalry with Toledo, I was able to come out and play strong,” said Ashley Jakupcin.

The rivalry between BG and Toledo could be seen at No. 3 singles in a heavily disputed scoring issue, which had to be settled by the official. Nussbaum went on to lose the match 6-3, 6-3.

BG was down a key member of its line-up in the match as Menoff, 7-0 in MAC play was out due to illness. Andrea Volle stepped into fill Menoff’s spot at No. 6 singles, in which she lost the match 6-0, 7-6 taking the match to a tie-breaker.

With the losses, the Falcons moved to a three-way tie for fourth place with Eastern Michigan and Miami. The fourth place finish in MAC standings is the highest for the team since the 1999-2000 season.

Coach Dean has plans to work on batting for each point and working through adversity in practice this week as her team heads innto tournament play.

The MAC Championship matches will take place in Toledo beginning on Thursday.

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