Lady Topper Tennis dominated the WKU Invitational this weekend, going an undefeated 21-0 overall against 2-time Ohio Valley Conference Champion SIUE.
WKU defeated the Cougar squad 6-0 in doubles and 15-0 in singles. SIUE returned four of its seven players from its 2016-17 team that finished with a record of 21-1, however the Lady Toppers lost only two sets over the course of the 21 matches played this weekend. The Red and White now have a fall tournament record of 35-7 between the Air Force Invitational and WKU Invitational.
Play began on The Hill Friday with doubles action as freshman Moka Ito and sophomores Monica Malinen, Natalia De Ugarte, and Cindy Oest took the court. Ito and Malinen paired up for doubles defeating the SIUE duo 6-4. The third-team all-conference twosome of De Ugarte and Oest defeated an SIUE tandem 6-1.
Singles matches started off with graduate student Elpida Malamou and De Ugarte both winning their contests against SIUE 6-1, 6-0. Senior Violetta Shatalova proceeded to win her match against Callaghan Adams of SIUE in two sets while Ito defeated a Cougar 6-2, 6-0.
Malinen wrapped up the night with an exciting battle, eventually defeating SIUE’s Lara Tupper 6-4, 6-3.
Saturday morning started off with two doubles victories for the Lady Toppers. De Ugarte and Oest were teamed up once again to face an SIUE twosome. The Red and White duo swept SIUE 6-0. Ito and Malinen went head-to-head against a pair of Cougars and came out victorious with a score of 6-1.
Round two of the singles competition proved to have some challenges for the Lady Toppers, but nothing they could not overcome. Ito found herself down in the second set 1-4 but fought back, winning 6 of the next 7 games to defeat SIUE’s Morgan Steffes. Shatalova also endured a battle during the second round as she won her match against Cougar Raillane Kamdem in a 10-point tiebreaker 6-2, 2-6, 10-5.
Head coach Jonatan Berhane switched things in the round three doubles pairings, but the Lady Toppers adapted quickly and easily. Malamou and Malinen formed a tandem for WKU, along with Ito and De Ugarte, who beat their SIUE opponents 6-1 and 6-3, respectively.
When the contest shifted to the third and final round of singles, Oest’s opponent retired after one set, leaving the Paraguay native victorious. Malamou, Shatalova, and Ito all won their third-round matches in two sets.
Wrapping up the WKU Invitational, Malinen defeated SIUE’s Ann-Christine Link in a thrilling 10-point tiebreaker match with a final score of 6-1, 5-7, 10-4.
Up next for the Lady Topper squad will be ITA Regionals held at Middle Tennessee Oct. 12-16.
Elpida Malamou (WKU) def. Morgan Steffes (SIUE) 6-1, 6-0
Elpida Malamou (WKU) def. Ann-Christine Link (SIUE) 6-1, 6-0
Elpida Malamou (WKU) def. Lara Tupper (SIUE) 6-2, 6-0
Moka Ito (WKU) def. Ann-Christine Link (SIUE) 6-2, 6-0
Moka Ito (WKU) def. Morgan Steffes (SIUE) 6-2, 7-5
Moka Ito (WKU) def. Raillane Kamdem (SIUE) 6-1, 6-2
Natalia De Ugarte (WKU) def. Raillane Kamdem (SIUE) 6-1, 6-0
Natalia De Ugarte (WKU) def. Callaghan Adams (SIUE) 6-1, 6-1
Monica Malinen (WKU) def. Lara Tupper (SIUE) 6-4, 6-3
Monica Malinen (WKU) def. Ann-Christine Link (SIUE) 6-1, 5-7, 10-4
Cindy Oest (WKU) def. Lara Tupper (SIUE) 6-2, 6-0
Cindy Oest (WKU) def. Morgan Steffes (SIUE) 6-2, 1-0, ret.
Violetta Shatalova (WKU) def. Callaghan Adams (SIUE) 6-3, 6-2
Violetta Shatalova (WKU) def. Raillane Kamdem (SIUE) 6-2, 2-6, 10-5
Violetta Shatalova (WKU) def. Callaghan Adams (SIUE) 6-1, 6-1
Ito/Malinen (WKU) def. Steffes/Link (SIUE) 6-4
De Ugarte/Oest (WKU) def. Adams/Tupper (SIUE) 6-1
De Ugarte/Oest (WKU) def. Adams/Steffes (SIUE) 6-0
Ito/Malinen (WKU) def. Kamdem/Typper (SIUE) 6-1
Malinen/Malamou (WKU) def. Tupper/Link (SIUE) 6-1
Ito/De Ugarte (WKU) def. Adams/Kamdem (SIUE) 6-3
How to follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Tennis, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUTennis.
Media Relations Assistant
WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations