Minneapolis - The Nebraska women’s tennis team won six matches on the opening day at the USTA/ITA Central Regional Championships on Thursday.
Freshman M’Balia Bangoura guided the team with two strong wins in singles play. Bangoura started off with a 6-4, 6-4 win over South Dakota’s Nanette Nylund and followed up with a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 tiebreaking win against Kansas State’s Livia Cirnu. Bangoura will face No. 9 seed Rongrong Leenabanchong of Tulsa at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Katerina Matysova, Claire Reifeis, Mary Hanna and Jeannie Lozowski followed Bangoura’s lead. Matysova scored a strong 6-1, 6-0 win over Omaha’s Kylie Boyer. No. 17 seed freshman Claire Reifeis came out of a tight tiebreaker match against Missouri’s Mackenzy Middlebrooks with a 7-6 (4); 7-6 (6) win. Hanna defeated South Dakota’s Maria Pandya 6-1, 6-0 and Lozowski finished the day with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Creighton’s Katherine Nelson. Each will be back at it Friday morning for the next round.
Vasanti Shinde lost 7-5, 6-1 to Northern Iowa’s Gisela Kemper. Freshman Hayley Haakenstad lost 6-2, 6-4 to No. 17 seed Ana Garcia-Narvas of Kansas State and Lisa Andersson was defeated 6-4, 6-4 by Minnesota’s Barbara Mancera. Husker Elizabeth Gould lost a tight 7-6 (4), 6-4 match to UMKC's Thanushree Vale, and NU's Sydney Harlow dropped a 6-1, 7-6 (6) decision to Iowa’s Adorabol Huckleby. All five will play again Friday in consolation action.
Friday also will signal the start of doubles play at the Championships. Bangoura and Shinde will face No. 9 seeds Zoe Douglas and Elise Van Heuvelen of Iowa at 8 a.m. Gould and Harlow will be playing at the same time against South Dakota State’s Molly Crum and Elif Gabb. The senior pair Andersson and Hanna will go up against Missouri State’s Ekaterina Donetskova and Fatima Khamissi at 9 a.m, while the freshmen duo of Haakenstad and Reifeis take on Northern Iowa’s Elvira Lopez and Astrid Santos at 10 a.m. Lozowski and Matysova will finish off morning doubles play against South Dakota’s Ellie Burns and Nanette Nylund at 10:30 a.m.
Action will continue over the weekend on Sunday with the quarterfinals of singles and semifinals in both doubles and singles play. Competition comes to a close on Monday, Oct. 17 with finals matches.
Fans can stay up to date with the Huskers by following the team on Twitter @HuskersWTennis or by watching for recaps on Huskers.com. Live stream links will be available via Twitter for the six indoor courts at the Baseline Tennis Center.
M’Balia Bangoura (NEB) def. Nanette Nylund (SDU), 6-4, 6-4
M’Balia Bangoura (NEB) def. Livia Cirnu (K State), 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-3
Katerina Matysova (NEB) def. Kylie Boyer (UNO), 6-1, 6-0
No.17 Claire Reifeis (NEB) def. Mackenzy Middlebrooks (MIZ), 7-6(4), 7-6(6)
Mary Hanna (NEB) def. Maria Pandya (SDU), 6-1, 6-0
Jeannie Lozowski (NEB) def Katherine Nelsen (Creighton), 6-4, 6-4
Gisela Kemper (Creighton) def. Vasanti Shinde (NEB), 7-5, 6-1
No.17 Ana Garcia-Navas (K State) def. Hayley Haakenstad (NEB), 6-2, 6-4
Barbara Mancera (MINN) def. Lisa Andersson (NEB), 6-4, 6-4
Thanushree Vale (UMKC) def. Elizabeth Gould (NEB), 7-6(4), 6-4
Adorabol Huckleby (IOWA) def. Sydney Harlow (NEB), 6-1, 7-6(6)