Sophomore M'Balia Bangoura's 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Penn State's Hanna Wikberg secured the win for the Huskers on Sunday.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Nebraska Pins Penn State, 7-0

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln, Neb. – The No. 38 Nebraska women’s tennis team improved to 2-2 in the Big Ten after its 7-0 sweep of the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center on Sunday.

The win put the Huskers back on their feet after a pair of tough losses to Michigan (4-3) and Michigan State (4-2) last weekend. The victory also handed the Nittany Lions’ their first loss in the Big Ten after they started conference play with a 5-2 win over Iowa on March 14.

The Big Red brought energy to the courts from the start of the match as doubles competition kicked off at 11 a.m.

To begin the Huskers’ success on Sunday, sophomores Claire Reifeis and Hayley Haakenstad notched a spirited 6-1 win in the No. 2 spot over Penn State’s Samantha Smith and Gabby O’Gorman.

In the No. 1 spot, junior Paula Del Cueto Castillo and senior Brianna Lashway nabbed the second doubles win and first Husker point of the match, defeating Nittany Lions Bennett Dunn and Shannon Hanley, 6-2.

The doubles point fueled Nebraska as the teams catapulted into singles competition and the Huskers carried out triumphs on every single court.

Reifeis had volume and vitality as she sprung into singles play and carried out a quick victory over O’Gorman from the No. 2 spot, 6-2, 6-0.

Senior Katerina Matysova was locked into the same mindset as she led a 6-2, 6-0 domination of Dunn in the No. 5 spot.

Competition stayed close on each court as the Huskers searched for an outlet to seal the match win. Sophomore M’Balia Bangoura supplied the solution as she bested Nittany Lion Hanna Wikberg on court 6, 6-1, 6-3, and clinched Nebraska’s victory over Penn State.

Play continued in neck-and-neck matches on every other court, but Huskers Del Cueto Castillo, Lashway and Shinde pulled through to secure the sweep over the Lions.

Collecting the fourth singles win from the No. 4 spot, Del Cueto Castillo fought with a fiery fervor to clinch her 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Smith. 

Lashway did the same from the No. 1 spot as she delivered a comeback against Penn State’s Frederikke Svarre. After Svarre clinched the first set 6-4, Lashway battled without a break in her step as she netted the second set win, 6-3, and triumphed in the succeeding super tiebreaker, 10-8, securing her singles victory and Nebraska’s sixth point.

Lashway’s success powered junior Vasanti Shinde through the final match of the afternoon. In a tight match against Hanley in the No. 3 spot, Shinde dueled with a slow, sizable burn to earn her way to a final 6-3, 7-5 win and cement the Huskers’ sweep and substantial success of the day.

The match victory brings Nebraska’s season record to 13-4 (2-2 B1G) and puts them on the right foot for next weekend’s matches against 8-8 Purdue (1-3 B1G) and 13-6 Indiana (1-3 B1G).

Associate Head Coach German Dalmagro said consistency helped provide the team’s win over Penn State and that the momentum it builds will boost the Huskers going forward in Big Ten competition.

“Every match is tough, so we just have to play tough every match and be consistent and be disciplined in what we do and just believe in ourselves,” Dalmagro said. “We believe that we can beat anybody, it’s just a matter of preparing well during the week so on match day you can play to the best of your abilities and just enjoy the battle.”

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

Results

Singles

1. Brianna Lashway (NEB) def. Frederikke Svarre (PST) 4-6, 6-3, 10-8

2. Claire Reifeis (NEB) def. Gabby O’Gorman (PST) 6-2, 6-0

3. Vasanti Shinde (NEB) def. Shannon Hanley (PST) 6-3, 7-5

4. Paula Del Cueto Castillo (NEB) def. Samantha Smith (PST) 6-4, 6-4

5. Katerina Matysova (NEB) def. Bennett Dunn (PST) 6-2, 6-0

6. M’Balia Bangoura (NEB) def. Hanna Wikberg (PST) 6-1, 6-3

Doubles

1. Paula Del Cueto Castillo/Brianna Lashway (NEB) def. Bennett Dunn/Shannon Hanley (PST) 6-2

2. Claire Reifeis/Hayley Haakenstad (NEB) def. Gabby O’Gorman/Samantha Smith (PST) 6-1

3. Katerina Matysova/Vasanti Shinde (NEB) def. Frederikke Svarre/Hanna Wikberg (PST) 5-4

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

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