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UNK Women Make Sweet 16

Senior Nickola Messbarger and sophomore Britni Norfolk each
rallied to win in three sets and propel the Nebraska-Kearney women’s tennis
team to a 5-2 victory over Western New Mexico Monday afternoon at Harmon
Park.


The Lopers (18-7) advance to the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Tournament May
16-19 in Louisville, Ky. An opponent and time will be announced later this
week.


During the regular season, UNK claimed a 7-2 win over the Mustangs.
However, WNMU turned the tables and upset the Lopers, 5-4, in the RMAC
Tournament finals in Denver.


In today’s 4 ˝ hour battle, Kearney led 2-1 after doubles but soon trailed
in five of the six singles matches. Sophomore Candace Green (Kearney H.S.)
did improv to 23-5 as she won 6-0, 6-0 in the sixth spot to give UNK a 3-1
lead.


Green also was part of the first team point of the match as she and Norfolk
(Brashear, Mo.) roared out to a 5-0 lead at No. 2 doubles before winning
8-3.


Western’s Nikolina Vukadin won in straight sets at No. 2 singles (6-3, 6-0)
after teaming with RMAC Freshman of the Year Ganna Tiurina to win 9-7 at
No. 1 doubles.


Norfolk, now 21-11, dropped her first set at No. 4 singles to Doris
Berberic, 6-2, but came back to easily win the second, 6-1, and third, 6-2,
sets. Now up 4-2, the Lopers also watched Messbarger (Kearney Catholic)
come back.


Losing 6-2 to Davida Aragon in the first set at number five singles,
Messbarger took the second set 6-1 and then put UNK into the Sweet 16 with
a 6-2 third set victory. At the same time, RMAC Player of the Year Vanessa
Guanwan (Indonesia) was about to defeat Tiurina as she led the second set
5-4 after posting an exciting 7-6 (7-4) win in the first set.


In another match that didn't finish, freshman Kristin Weems (Arlington,
Texas) went to two tiebreakers against Ashley Newell at number three
singles. Each won by a 7-6 (7-5) score.


Finally, Messrbarger and freshman Tealyn Trimble (Kearney H.S.) are now
22-1 at No. 3 doubles as they scored the final three points to win 8-5 over
Aragon and Deana Irvin.