Wichita State’s Vlad Marinescu and Northern Iowa’s Laia Gonzalez-Garrido are named this week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tennis Athletes of the Week, respectively.
Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week
Vlad Marinescu, Wichita State, SR., Bucharest, Romania
Vlad went 2-0 in both singles and doubles this past Saturday in 7-0 wins over both Emporia State and Friends University. Marinescu/Nicol took both doubles matches against Emporia and Friends 8-0. Vlad Marinescu also defeated Nick Stiefer of Emporia, 6-2, 6-0 and Billy Bloomquist of Friends, 6-0, 6-1.
Other Notable Performances:
Mauricio Ballivian, Drake, SR., Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Senior Mauricio Ballivian continued his stellar run of tennis last week posting a perfect 4-0 combined singles/doubles ledger en route to leading Drake to a pair of road wins to extend the Bulldogs' winning streak to nine-consecutive matches. He paired with sophomore Anis Ghorbel to net Drake's lone doubles triumph, an 8-2 decision, at No. 1 against Western Michigan before adding the triumph at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 7-6 (1) over Michael Calderone. Ballivian then sparked a 7-0 win over Northern Illinois collecting a pair of triumphs to move into a fifth-place tie with Ross Nwachukwu (1990-94) on the Bulldogs' all-time victory list with 183 career wins. Ballivian has now won nine straight doubles tilts with Ghorbel, while registering victories in his last five singles tilts. On the season, he boasts a 50-13 combined singles/doubles ledger, including team-best records in singles and doubles.
Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week
Laia Gonzalez-Garrido, UNI, SR., Vinaros, Spain
Laia won both her singles and doubles matches Sunday against Drake. She defeated Gabriela Demos of Drake 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in the No. 2 singles match. In doubles, Laia and teammate Phoebe Walker defeated Jessica Aguilera and Manca Krizman 8-5 in the No. 1 match. Laia is 10-6 so far in the spring season, and she also holds a 14-2 record in doubles with Walker. She has held the No. 2 position for the majority of the season.
Other Notable Performances:
Veronika Blaskova, Wichita State, FR., Zillina, Slovakia
Veronika went 1-0 in both singles and doubles on Sunday against Nevada in our 6-1 win.
Blaskova/Blasco Fernandez defeated Okremchuh/Eufrasio of Nevada, 8-6 at the No. 1 spot.
Veronika Blaskova also defeated Lais Ogata (Nevada), 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
Nicole Miller, Bradley, SR., Glendale Heights, Illinois
Nicole Miller improved to 2-0 at #1 singles in Missouri Valley Conference play with a 6-4, 4-6, 10-7 victory against Creighton’s Anna Kirshenbaum Sunday afternoon in Omaha, Neb. Miller, who has a team-best nine singles wins on the year, earned her 49th career singles win and moved into a tie for fourth in school history with the 101st career victory. She needs one singles win to join Ashley Morris as the only players in program history with 50 career wins in both singles and doubles play.
Aleksandra Dzakula, Evansville, JR., Belgrad, Serbia
In UE's lone match last week, a 6-1 win over Southern Illinois to begin conference play, Dzakula defeated Jennifer Dien 6-1, 4-6, 10-6 at number three singles. At number two doubles, Dzakula and teammate Pin Sorensen combined for an 8-6 win over Love and Anastacia Simons.
Kelsey Schmidt, Creighton, JR., Brookfield, Wisconsin
Kelsey has been on a roll lately and continued her success last week. Schmidt, who plays No. 3 singles, was undefeated in action last week as the Jays defeated North Dakota 5-2 in a nearly four hour match and then won their first MVC match 6-1 over Bradley. In the first match against North Dakota, Schmidt took the first set 6-4 before falling 6-2 in the second. She came back to battle and pull out a close 7-6 win in the third set to get the win. In the win over Bradley, Schmidt took care of her opponent in No. 3 singles by winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Schmidt was also undefeated in doubles play on the week, as she paired up with Mary McMullan at the No. 2 doubles to defeat North Dakota 8-4 and Bradley 8-2. Schmidt is currently on a six match win streak, going back to the Spring Break trip on March 6. She has won 15 singles matches this season, sitting at 10-4 in duel matches. In doubles play, Schmidt and McMullan have combined for an 11-3 record, also on a six match win streak.