Tennis team stays hot over break

IUP’s 38th-ranked women’s tennis traveled to Hilton Head, S.C., over spring break for three games and improved its record to 6-0.

The Crimson Hawks first game of the week was against No. 47 Tusculum University, which also happened to be their toughest.

Tusculum took a 4-2 lead on the Crimson Hawks before No. 4 Claudia Menes (freshman, athletic training) started the rally for the team with a 6-3, 7-5 win. Jarka Petercaokva (junior, international business) was next up and won at the No. 1 spot to tie both teams at 4-4.

“Jarka had a really nice win at No. 1 against a girl who beat Tanya [Timko] last year,” head coach Larry Peterson said.

“Claudia won at No. 4, which was a great win for her as a freshman under pressure. She knew at that point we needed to win every match and she was able to keep her poise and stay calm.”

Rachel Wood (junior, criminology), who also had the game clincher against Tiffin, came through again in the clutch with a 6-4- 7-5 win.

The 18th-ranked doubles team of Petercakova and Luise von Agris (sophomore, international business and general management) had the lone victory in the doubles portion playing at the No. 1 spot with a score of 9-7.

“They are a very good team, in fact, the next day they beat a top 20 team in the Division II rankings Northwood University 6-3,” Peterson said.

The next day Tuesday, March 8, IUP shutout Ashland University with a score of 9-0.

“We knew going in that we were probably the favored team in that match and we were a little stronger across the board at every spot in the lineup,” Peterson said. “It was the day after a big win which can create some issues but the girls were ready.”

As a team, the Hawks allowed only nine points on the day with three singles shutouts and one doubles shutout.
No. 3 Sophie Butland (junior, exercise science), No. 4 Menes and Wood picked up the shutout wins in singles against Ashland.

The doubles team of Butland and Menes had the lone shutout win for the women’s team.

Alanna McFail (senior, biology) played at the No. 5 spot and won 6-1, 6-0.

After a day’s rest, the tennis team played Chowan University their first regional match of the year.

“It was our first regional match of the year so we wanted to send a message to all of our teams in the region that we are ready to go, Peterson said.”

It was easy sailing for the Crimson Hawks once again as they won by a score of 8-1 on Thursday to improve their record to 6-0.

In the doubles part, the Crimson Hawks swept Chowan to take a 3-0 lead.

Raquel Gonzalez (junior, management) won at the No. 2 spot by a score of 6-1, 6-1. At the No. 1 spot Petercakova picked up the victory 6-0, 6-2.

The Intercollege Tennis Association released an updated regional rankings Wednesday, March 16.

The Crimson Hawks are still the second ranked team in the Atlantic Region behind rival California University of Pennsylvania at No. 1.

Petercakova held on to her ranking of No. 6 in the singles rankings being the highest Crimson Hawk on the list.

Gonzalez, von Agris and Wood all moved up two spots to No. 8, No. 9 and No. 11 respectively.

Butland previously at No. 9 dropped to No. 15.

In the doubles rankings, Petercakova and von Agris are in the same spot at No. 2, while the team of Gonzalez and Wood moved up three spots to No. 6.

The (6-0) Crimson Hawks are back at it again Saturday against regional opponent West Liberty University.