By Dan Hiner
With the semester drawing to a close, Youngstown State University is about to begin its Horizon League tournament portion of the schedule in several spring sports.
The YSU women’s tennis team has clinched the first seed in the Horizon League tournament. This is the first time the women’s team has won the Horizon League regular season title in program history.
YSU finished 15-8 in the regular season and 8-0 in conference play. The Penguins have won 10 of their last 11 matches. YSU’s last loss of the season occurred on March 11 at Gonzaga University.
The Penguins won their last competition against Valparaiso University 6-1. YSU went 5-1 in singles matches and won all three of the matches in double completion. With the loss, Valparaiso’s season came to an end.
YSU’s Marta Burak picked up a strong 6-0, 6-0 win over Kaitlyn Hamel during the Penguins’ first match. For Burak, it was the 93rd win of her YSU career and her 30th straight conference win.
During YSU’s second match Dominika Lackova earned a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Valpo’s Kathleen Hebble. Over the last two seasons, Lackova finished 16-0 in Horizon League matches.
Annina Brendel, Nehel Sahni and Sofia Macias Mendoza also picked up wins in singles matches.
Burak and Victoria Ferry won the first doubles match against Hamel and Hebble after the match could not continue. YSU won the second and third doubles matches 6-0. Sahni and Brendel competed in the second match, and Mendoza and Lackova competed in the final match.
This is the first time the Penguins have obtained the number one seed in the Horizon League tournament. The tournament will be held on April 24-26 at the Purdue University Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Indiana.
YSU will have a first-round bye and will play its first match on April 25. The Penguins will have to wait to play the winner of the match between the fourth seed University of Illinois at Chicago and the fifth seed University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on April 24.
UIC’s record stands at 9-10 (4-5). The Flames lost their last match against Cleveland State University 4-3. UIC has lost their last three matches, including a 4-3 loss to YSU on April 18.
Milwaukee is entering the tournament with a record of 6-15 (4-4). Milwaukee is coming off of a 5-2 loss to Wright State University on April 18. The Panthers have lost three out of their last four matches.
The women’s matches are scheduled to start on April 25 at 3 p.m.