Drake University’s Jean Erasmus and Wichita State’s Lutfiana Budiharto help clinch Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles this weekend with stand out Athlete of the Week performances.
Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week
Jean Erasmus, Drake, SO., Windhoek, Namibia
Sophomore Jean Erasmus played a key role in helping Drake clinch its fourth MVC regular season crown in the last five seasons registering deciding victories in both singles and doubles in a 5-2 victory at Wichita State last Saturday (April 23). In doubles, he and James McKie earned the doubles point as the duo bested Vlad Marinescu and Valentin Mihai, 8-6, at No. 2. The win was the fifth straight for the tandem and eighth in their last 10 matches. In singles, Erasmus won his team-leading 30th singles match of the year defeating David Cavalcanti, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 3 to give Drake the triumph in the contest. Erasmus has won 11 straight singles tilts and finished the league slate a perfect 10-0 in combined singles/doubles matches. On the season, Erasmus owns a 52-15 combined singles/doubles ledger.
Other Notable Performances:
Timon Reichelt, Illinois State, SR., Wedemark, Germany
Illinois State senior Timon Reichelt celebrated his senior day in style over the weekend. Reichelt picked up victories in both singles and doubles that led to a 7-0 sweep for the Redbirds over Southern Illinois. Reichelt has been stellar all season for the Redbirds, posting a 12-8 singles record and a 17-5 doubles record in dual matches.
Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week
Lutfiana Budiharto, Wichita State, JR., Jakarta, Indonesia
Lutfiana helped Wichita State go 2-0 over the weekend with victories over Drake and Northern Iowa to clinch the regular season MVC title. She was 2-0 in both singles and doubles. She helped WSU finish a perfect 6-0 through the MVC schedule, beating four opponents 7-0 one 6-1 and one 5-2. The Shockers have won the last three regular-season titles and haven't dropped an MVC match since 2008.
Other Notable Performances:
Ariane Maack, Illinois State, SO., Weilheim, Germany
Ariane Maack has contributed greatly to Illinois State’s 2010-11 season, holding an overall singles record of 12-11. This past weekend, she swept all of her matches, winning both doubles matches with partner Hannah Esker against Southern Illinois (8-6) and Evansville (8-3). She also defeated Ashton Schwerin of Evansville on Saturday 6-3, 6-1. She was one of just two Redbirds to come away with a singles win against Evansville and helped secure the doubles point for the ‘Birds both matches.
Aleksandra Dzakula, Evansville, JR., Belgrade, Serbia
Aleks won the decisive match Saturday night that gave Evansville a 4-3 victory over Illinois State and a tie for third place in the final MVC standings. Both the third place finish and number four seed in this week's State Farm MVC Tournament are the best ever for the Purple Aces. Dzakula was 3-0 at number three singles last week against the University of Southern Indiana, Bradley, and Illinois State, and 2-1 at number two doubles. Her final match was the biggest, coming back from a 7-6 first set loss to Carolina Abello of Illinois State Saturday night to win 6-3, 6-1 and break the 3-3 tie against the Redbirds.