The women's tennis team had a nice start to their season Aug. 25 in a 6-3 victory over Illinois Valley Community College.
Freshman Brooke Zielke won 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 singles against a decent opponent. She shook off the nerves by the second set, found her rhythm and stepped up her game, working the net and finishing with strong volleys.
Sophomore Jasmine Abunaim, at No. 2 singles, won with double bagels (6-0, 6-0). She took control early on and kept a level head throughout the entire match. Her serves were the highlight as she worked consistently, fast and accurate.
Freshman Serene Itani (No. 3) won a hard-fought match complete with a super tiebreaker (6-0, 3-6, 10-7). She used strong volleys and worked her opponent's weaknesses, stepping up her mental toughness in the super tiebreaker for the win.
Sophomore Audrey Stocklen (No. 4) lost a heartbreaking match through a tiebreaker (6-2, 2-6, 8-10). She showed grit throughout the entire match and was patient, making her opponent make the mistakes.
Freshman Karli Schmitt (No. 5) suffered an injury in the second game of the second set after tripping into the net while hustling for a short ball. She was not able to finish her singles match nor compete in doubles.
Sophomore Mary Stocklen (No. 6) dominated with a 6-0, 6-0 win. She was calm, cool and collected the entire match, never letting her opponent get a game in. She remained consistent, tracking everything down.
At No. 1 doubles Zielke and Abunaim handily won (6-2, 6-1). They dominated at serves and angle shots. This was their first official match competing together. Although it took a few games for them to get used to each other, once they found that groove, they had clear chemistry and communication. The Stocklen sisters took a hard fought win at No. 3 doubles which included a tiebreaker (6-4, 6-6, 7-5). They came back in the second set from a 1-4 deficit and fought to tie at 6-6. They remained mentally tough, using comeback momentum to win the set tiebreaker.
"The whole team showed a lot of character, especially in the heat, and I am very impressed by all of them. Whether they won, lost or got hurt, they supported each other and tried their best," said head Coach Breanna Vollan, celebrating her first win leading the Cyclones. "This match was a good experience and gave us things to keep in mind and work on for next match and the rest of the season. I'm crazy proud!"