Falcons Lose Close Match to Drake, 4-3
The Air Force women's tennis team lost its second consecutive match on Saturday by dropping a close 4-3 decision to Drake University in Lincoln, Neb. The Falcons are 3-5 this season.
The Bulldogs captured the doubles point with wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots. Air Force's only victory in the doubles matches was at the top position, where senior Kat Bushey and freshman Christine Abayan defeated Irina Kalashnikova and Allison Wilkie, 8-4.
Bushey also pulled out an impressive singles win at the No. 1 spot, saving a match point and defeating Kalashnikova, 6-7(10), 6-2, (11-9). Sophomore Lauren Wilson won the No. 3 match, 6-1, 7-6, over Eveline Rusdianto, while junior Kelly Morgan defeated Sarah Plowman, 6-0, 6-1, at the No. 6 position.
Drake took the other three singles matches, with two of them going to three sets. Veronika Lesyova defeated Abayan, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 2 spot, while Wilke won at No. 4, beating freshman Meghan Kiser, 6-1, 1-6, 6-2. Kari Sloboth won the No. 5 match 6-1, 6-0 over Sophomore Erika Shortridge.
"Drake was a very good team, but we had chance to win -- it just came down to who kept the momentum on their side," said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. "Our team did a tremendous job of fighting after losing the doubles point. Kelly Morgan did a great job after losing her doubles match and then rebounding with a victory with her fingers taped together after an injury. Kat Bushey also saved a match point to come back and win after losing the first set tie-breaker 12-10."
Air Force is idle for two weeks before facing service-academy rival Army in the annual Gideon Cup match on Saturday, Feb. 18. The match will begin at 9 a.m. at the Academy's indoor courts.
Drake 4, Air Force 3
1. Kat Bushey (AFA) def. Irina Kalashnikova, 6-7(10), 6-2, (11-9)2. Veronika Lesyova (DRAKE) def. Christine Abayan, 3-6, 6-3, 6-23. Lauren Wilson (AFA) def. Eveline Rusdianto, 6-1, 7-64. Allison Wilkie (DRAKE) def. Meghan Kiser, 6-1, 1-6, 6-25. Kari Sloboth (DRAKE) def. Erika Shortridge, 6-1, 6-0
6. Kelly Morgan (AFA) def. Sarah Plowman, 6-0, 6-1
1. Bushey/Abayan (AFA) def. Kalashnikova/Wilkie, 8-42. Plowman/Lesyova (DRAKE) def. Wilson/Kiser, 8-0
3. Rusdianto/Sloboth (DRAKE) def. Shortridge/Morgan, 8-4