Bronson Collects 300th Career Win; Golden Eagles Top UIC, 6-1, and Villanova, 7-0
Jan. 22, 2010
MILWAUKEE - Head women's tennis coach Jody Bronson inked her name in the Marquette history books Friday by earning her 300th career victory in the form of a 6-1 defeat of UIC at Helfaer Tennis Stadium. The Golden Eagles also captured a 7-0 victory over Villanova later Friday night.
The Golden Eagles open the dual season victorious, while Bronson moves to 301-268 all-time at Marquette with the pair of wins.
With the win, Bronson is one of 18 active women's tennis coaches in NCAA Division I to have won 300-or-more dual matches. She is the only coach at Marquette - in any sport - with 300 career wins.
"Today was all about how we are going to start the season," said Bronson. "The first match always sets the tone and I really didn't even think about the milestone. It is a great thing to have 300 wins, but I have been so blessed with the young ladies I have had in the program and watch them get better. For me today couldn't have happened with a better group of players. I'm so glad this is the team that is surrounding me today."
The Golden Eagles fought to sweep the doubles point and take an early 1-0 lead. With UIC up, 4-3, the duo of Gillian Hush and Maggie Wilson came from behind and won five straight points to defeat Ilinca Cristescu and Amy Jellish, 8-4, at No. 3. The No. 2 doubles team of Kelly Barry and Olga Fischer also rallied after being down 6-4 to top Zlatka Petrova and Elena Antakova, 8-6. Christina Ruiz and Rachael Hush closed out the sweep with a 9-7 win over Mariya Kovaleva and Kristen McPhillips at No. 1.
In singles play, Barry was the first Golden Eagles off the court following a 6-1, 6-1 win over Cristescu at No. 2. Ruiz followed with an easy 6-0, 6-0 defeat of McPhillips at No. 4, and Rachael Hush sealed the win for Marquette with a 2-6, 6-2 (10-8) win over Petrova at No. 3.
"The first match, everyone is a bit nervous and you just don't know the players are going to come out. They know they are prepared and they know they want to win, but they still have to go out. In doubles we started off a little bit slow and had our backs up against the wall early on, so winning the doubles point was huge. In singles, we had people playing in a lot of different positions than they had in the previous year, but everyone stepped up. They knew they had prepared well and came out focused. They were relaxed and made it happen," said Bronson.
In the second part of the Friday doubleheader, the Golden Eagles downed Villanova, 7-0.
In doubles play, all three duos tallied wins over the Wildcats, led by Wilson and Gillian Hush who did not allow a point to Michele Jordan and Wes Donadio. Barry and Fischer paired together to earn the doubles point for Marquette, 8-2. Rachael Hush and Ruiz rounded out doubles action with an 8-1 win over Carla Erskine and Allison Solberg.
"For an opening day, first time competing for three months, it was awesome," said Bronson. "I really felt like we came through. Some of the matches we were down a little and we were able to fight back and I just feel they were so focused and so ready to play. They did a really great job."
"Doubleheaders are never easy," Bronson added. "That's a lot of tennis. That's three hours of singles and a couple of hours of doubles, so they really were so focused on getting a winning start. Going 2-0 into Louisville is a great feeling."
Barry came away with Marquette's first singles win against Villanova, with many more to come. The freshman was unblemished in her second collegiate match, winning 6-0, 6-0. Gillian Hush also escaped perfect, tallying two 6-0 victories over Allie Harding. In the top position, Fischer handily tallied a win over Erskine, while Ruiz, Wilson and Strother added victories for Marquette.
Marquette hosts Louisville Sunday morning, with doubles play beginning at 10 a.m. at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium at Marquette.
"I'm very confident we'll have the same energy that we came out with today. They know that Louisville is a rival school and that we have to be very focused and very smart in how we play. We have to play aggressive, but we have to play smart and be able to ground out a lot of points. I think if we're able to do those things, that we are definitely going to have a great day."Marquette 6, UIC 1
Marquette 6, UIC 1
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
Order of finish: 2, 4, 3, 5, 1, 6
Marquette 7, Villanova 0
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
Order of finish: 2, 6, 4, 1, 5, 3
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