CHICAGO - The Bowling Green State University tennis team got a weekend trip to Chicagoland off to a successful start Saturday afternoon (Jan. 26), defeating Drake University by a 6-1 final. The neutral-site match was held at the Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet Club.
With the win, the Falcons are now 2-1 in dual-match play on the young season. BGSU has won two consecutive matches after a loss to No. 19 Notre Dame last weekend. Drake dropped to 1-1 on the year.
In doubles play, BGSU had little trouble winning the matches at the top-two flights. At the top level, juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland lost only two games in a win over Klavdija Rebol and Jordan Eggleston, while seniors Maddy Eccleston and Katie Grubb did not lose a single game in a second-flight victory against Lea Kozulic and Maddie Johnson.
In third-flight action, BGSU seniors Mary Hill and Jade Johnson fell behind by a 7-2 score vs. Nell Boyd and Evy Van Genechten. The Falcon duo battled back, however, forcing a tiebreaker and capturing it by a 7-5 score.
The Falcons took that momentum into singles action, winning five of the six matches, including three in straight sets. At the sixth flight, freshman Katie Brozovich did not lose a single game in her dismantling of Amanda Dick.
Chiricosta lost only three total games at the second flight, defeating Rebol in quick fashion. Grubb topped Eggleston in the opening set in fifth-flight action, and the BG senior held a 2-0 lead in the second set before Eggleston was forced to retire.
Two Falcons were forced to a third-set tiebreaker. At the number-one flight, Reuland dropped her opening set to Boyd in a tiebreaker, but rallied back for a 6-4 victory in the second set. In their third-set 'breaker, Reuland came away with a 10-7 win.
The third flight saw Eccleston take the early lead with a 6-4 win, only to have Kozulic battle back for a second-set victory. In the tiebreaker, though, the BGSU co-captain captured a 10-6 decision.
Drake's lone point came at the fourth flight, where Van Genechten posted a victory over Hill.
With two wins on Saturday, Eccleston moved into sole possession of sixth place on the BGSU combined career wins list. She now has 145 victories as a Falcon, moving ahead of current BG assistant coach Cindy (Mikolajewski) Yonker on that list.
Eccleston also moved into a tie for 15th place on the BGSU singles wins list, and now has 64. Chiricosta and Reuland are right behind, with 63 and 60, respectively.
All six of the BGSU returnees are ranked among the top-25 players in school history on the doubles wins list. Eccleston sits in third place on that chart with 81 doubles wins, just eight shy of the school record. Chiricosta is 15th with 62 doubles victories, while Grubb (59), Hill (58), Johnson (56) and Reuland (55) all are ranked between 17th and 23rd on that list.
This season, Chiricosta now has an overall record of 27-11, while Reuland is 26-12. Grubb passed the 20-win plateau on Saturday, and now has a 21-9 record this season. Brozovich, like Grubb, picked up her 20th victory of the year, and is 20-15 overall.