WATERLOO, Iowa - University of Northern Iowa senior Krissy Lankelma tied the Panthers's school record for doubles wins on Saturday while leading her team to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Illinois State Redbirds at the Black Hawk Tennis Club.
UNI (10-10, 1-3 MVC) tallied the doubles point to begin the match and then won five of the six singles matches for the 6-1 triumph. Illinois State fell to 8-7 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Lankelma posted her 83rd career doubles win when she teamed with Sydney Wolfe for an 8-5 win over Illinois State's Sierra Stone and Carolina Abello. Lankelma's 83 doubles wins ties her with Phoebe Walker, who also tallied 83 wins from 2009-2013.
"I have to brag on the ladies today and how well we played as a team against Illinois State," UNI head coach Daniel Finn said. "Today we won as a team. It has taken awhile this year for us to get to this point, but playing and competing in the way we did today was the impressive thing to me. By no means did we come close to playing our best tennis, but we competed as hard as we have all year and looking hungry while playing big in the important moments. To me that's the key. Like I said before, we are improving. That's the key. Not one sole person or group of people won for us today - the team did. Nowe we have to get ready for another test tomorrow against Bradley. They will come in here ready to go, so we will have to be ready to go back to fight again tomorrow."
Illinois State grabbed the first singles win at No. 1 when Phyllis Tigges tallied a 6-2, 6-2 win over UNI's Jieke Stroobant. But from there the Panthers would not fall again in singles.
Lankelma and Wolfe came through with strong play at No. 5 and No. 6 singles to put momentum back on the Panthers's side with straight set victories.
UNI's Astrid Santos picked up a three-set win at No. 4 singles over Illinois State's Madeleien Baillon. Santos dropped the first set, 6-3, before coming on a strong and getting the win with sets wins of 6-4 and 6-3. Santos's win clinched the dual victory for the Panthers.
Junior Erica Medlin got the win at No. 2 singles with a three-set win over the Redbirds's Sierra Stone, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
UNI freshman Elvira Lopez closed out the action with another three-set triumph at No. 3 singles over Illinois State's Carolina Abello, 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5.
UNI will match up against the Bradley Braves on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Black Hawk Tennis Club in the Panthers's final home dual match of the season.
NOTES: UNI is 10-0 at home this season ... UNI's last perfect home season came in 2001 when the Panthers posted a 6-0 home record.