Photo by Josh Wenger/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Conquer Cougars, Fighting Hawks

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska women’s tennis team swept both the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in a doubleheader at the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center Saturday afternoon.

The Huskers kicked off competition for the day with a 1 p.m. matchup against the Cougars, who suffered a 7-0 defeat by the Huskers.

In just 15 minutes of play, Nebraska collected its first win in doubles as the Huskers refused to allow the Cougars a single point. From the No. 1 spot, junior Paula Del Cueto Castillo and senior Brianna Lashway dominated SIUE’s Ann-Christine Link and Lara Tupper, 6-0. Sophomore M’Balia Bangoura and junior Elizabeth Gould followed suit as the duo collected a 6-0 victory against Cougars Angel Ikeda and Anna Talley.

In singles action, Cougars competition barely came close to the Huskers, who spearheaded victories across all six courts.

From the No. 2 spot, sophomore Claire Reifeis brought in the first singles win for the Huskers, 3-0, as SIUE’s Link retired early from the match due to a knee injury. Sophomore Hayley Haakenstad and junior Marina Cozac each brought in 6-0, 6-0 victories on courts 4 and 6 against Cougars Katherine Lahue and Ikeda, respectively, providing the next two wins for Nebraska’s count and locking in the match win over the Cougars. Sophomore Emma Worley contributed the Huskers' fourth singles win from the No. 5 spot as she took down SIUE’s Talley, 6-2, 6-0, and junior Vasanti Shinde complemented from the No. 1 spot with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of SIUE’s Tupper. After an initial 3-0 deficit to Cougar Raillane Kamdem, sophomore Jeannie Lozowski came back with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Kamdem in the No. 3 spot, collecting Nebraska’s seventh and final point of the match.

After a two-hour pause, the Huskers hit the courts again to overpower the Fighting Hawks in an additional, competitive 7-0 win.

Various pairs went head-and-head in doubles play, where Nebraska came back to finish on top on all three courts of official play.

Senior Katerina Matysova and Shinde led the Big Red from the No. 3 spot in their quick defeat of North Dakota’s Zahra Finnigan and Jaylee Yasunaga, 6-1. After bringing in their first doubles win, the Huskers continued to carry out tight battles on courts 1 and 2. The sophomore dynamic duo of Refeis and Haakenstad returned from a 5-3 deficit in the No. 2 spot to bring the match against Fighting Hawks Isa Sullivan and Preethi Kasilingam to a 5-5 tie. In a pair of energized, tense final games, the Husker pair fought until the end, where they reached a 7-5 triumph over the Hawks. From the No. 1 spot, the skilled set of Del Cueto Castillo and Lashway trailed behind in the latter half of their match, before tying it up 5-5 and netting their 7-5 win over North Dakota’s Carmen Palumbo and Elly Hartnett.

The three doubles wins netted the doubles point for the Huskers as they led the Fighting Hawks, 1-0. In singles play, the Huskers collected wins across the board with a higher sense of ease and control.

Matysova took down ND’s Sullivan, 6-1, 6-0 from the No. 4 spot for the Huskers’ first singles win, followed by No. 5 Haakenstad’s victory against ND’s Finnigan, 6-1, 6-0. Del Cueto Castillo finished next with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph from the No. 3 spot over Fighting Hawk Kasilingam, and Reifeis brought in the fourth singles win from the No. 2 spot in her 6-3, 6-0 domination of North Dakota’s Hartnett. Lashway and Lozowski contributed the two final wins for the Huskers, as Lashway conquered Fighting Hawk Palumbo, 6-1, 6-1, from the No. 1 spot and Lozowski defeated ND’s Yasunaga, 6-3, 6-1, in the No. 6 spot.

The 7-0 victories over the Cougars and the Fighting Hawks brings the Huskers’ 2018 season record to 5-2. Nebraska competes again next weekend in home matches against the Wyoming Cowboys on Friday, Feb. 16, and the Wichita Shockers on Sunday, Feb. 18. Start time for Friday’s match against the Cowboys is set for 5 p.m., and Sunday’s match against the Shockers will kick off at 11 a.m.

Stay up to date with Nebraska women’s tennis by following the team on Twitter at @HuskersWTennis, or by visiting for recaps and results following the matches.


Nebraska 7, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 0


1. Vasanti Shinde (NEB) def. Lara Tupper (SIUE) 6-3, 6-3

2. Claire Reifeis (NEB) def. Ann-Christine Link (SIUE) 3-0, retired

3. Jeannie Lozowski (NEB) def. Raillane Kamdem (SIUE) 6-4, 6-2

4. Hayley Haakenstad (NEB) def. Katherine Lahue (SIUE) 6-0, 6-0

5. Emma Worley (NEB) def. Anna Talley (SIUE) 6-2, 6-0

6. Marina Cozac (NEB) def. Angel Ikeda (SIUE) 6-0, 6-0


1. Paula Del Cueto Castillo/Brianna Lashway (NEB) def. Ann-Christine Link/Lara Tupper (SIUE) 6-0

2. Claire Reifeis/Katerina Matysova (NEB) vs. Raillane Kamdem/Katherine Lahue (SIUE) 5-0, unfinished

3. M’Balia Bangoura/Elizabeth Gould (NEB) def. Angel Ikeda/Anna Talley (SIUE) 6-0

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,4,6,5,1,3)

Nebraska 7, North Dakota 0


1. Brianna Lashway (NEB) def. Carmen Palumbo (NDAK) 6-1, 6-1

2. Claire Reifeis (NEB) def. Elly Hartnett (NDAK) 6-3, 6-0

3. Paula Del Cueto Castillo (NEB) def. Preethi Kasilingam (NDAK) 6-0, 6-2

4. Katerina Matysova (NEB) def. Isa Sullivan (NDAK) 6-1, 6-0

5. Hayley Haakenstad (NEB) def. Zahra Finnigan (NDAK) 6-1, 6-0

6. Jeannie Lozowski (NEB) def. Jaylee Yasunaga (NDAK) 6-3, 6-1


1. Paula Del Cueto Castillo/Brianna Lashway (NEB) def. Carmen Palumbo/Elly Hartnett (NDAK) 7-5

2. Claire Reifeis/Hayley Haakenstad (NEB) def. Isa Sullivan/Preethi Kasilingam (NDAK) 7-5

3. Vasanti Shinde/Katerina Matysova (NEB) def. Jaylee Yasunaga/Zahra Finnigan (NDAK) 6-1

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,5,3,2,1,6)


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