Conference play began this past weekend on the women's side with Illinois State defeating Bradley, Southern Illinois earning the win against Evansville and UNI being victorious against Drake. Southern Illinois, Evansville, and Illinois State also garnered wins against non-conference opponents. Creighton's men's tennis team dominated play this weekend winning all three matches 7-0, 6-1, and 9-0. Illinois State and Southern Illinois also tasted victory with their defeat of Air Force and Murray State, respectively.
This week's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tennis Athletes of the Week are Alexander Pelaez of Illinois State and Wichita State's Lutfiana Budiharto.
State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Men's Athlete of the Week
Alexander Pelaez, Fr., Illinois State, Havana, Cuba
Alex Pelaez helped Illinois State capture a win Sunday afternoon against Air Force, with wins at No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles. In doubles, Pelaez and teammate Michael Hobson defeated Alex Beaussart and Sam Barnes, 8-7 (1-0). He then went on to defeat Lance Wilhelm, 7-5, 6-2, on the No. 1 singles court. Before Sunday's match Wilhelm had only lost one singles match in dual play this season. The Redbirds were unable to gain the doubles point against Air Force, but took all six singles points for a 6-1 victory and improved their record to 9-7 on the season.
In Saturday's loss to No. 25 Denver, Pelaez was leading his singles match against David Simson, taking the first set 6-3 before the match was stopped after Denver clinched the fourth overall match point and the victory (conference tournament scoring used due to time constraints).
Others nominated include: Mpilo Migogo, Southern Illinois; Matheus Pereira, Wichita State
State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Women's Athlete of the Week
Lutfiana Budiharto, So., Wichita State, Jakarta, Indonesia
No. 34 Lutfiana Budihart shook off a difficult previous week to ready herself for the toughest competition she's seen so far this season against No. 3 Notre Dame on Sunday. The nationally-ranked sophomore played at the No. 2 position for the first time this season and made the most out of her opportunity there. Budiharto took on the Fighting Irish's Shannon Mathews, bouncing back from a first-set loss to defeat the 108th-ranked singles player in the country, 2-6, 6-4, 10-5.
Others nominated include: Melanie Delsart, Southern Illinois; Manca Krizman, Drake; Sampada Kanade, UNI; Hannah Esker, Illinois State; Aleksandra Dzakula, Evansville
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