---Jenny Hand (left) and Ivana Misic

By Mike Anderson, NKU Sports Information


ST. LOUIS – The Northern Kentucky University women’s tennis team strengthened its position for the NCAA regional tournament with a 5-4 decision against Bellarmine in the Great Lakes Valley Conference third-place consolation match.

Head coach Geoff Crawford shook things up in his doubles lineup, teaming Michelle Schirmann and Jillian Sturgeon at the No. 1 doubles flight to post Bellarmine’s, Rebecca Porter and Emily Roebker, 8-6.  Stephanie Isaacs teamed with Kristen Sunday for the first time since 2008, falling to Sarah Roebker and Elizabeth Bohnert in a 7-5 tiebreaker decision.

Isaacs and Sunday were 16-7 last season in the No. 1 doubles flight.

In the third doubles match, Jenny Hand and Ivana Misic ran their record to 15-3 with an 8-2 victory over Lauren Cotton and Keyly Knechtel.

The singles matches saw a perfect split between the teams, as Bellarmine took the top three flights and NKU took the final three.

Bellarmine’s wins all came in straight sets, as Porter downed Sunday, 6-0, 6-2, Sarah Roebker defeated Isaacs, 7-5, 6-3, and Bohnert beat Schirmann, 6-2, 6-4.

The tide turned when Hand took a dramatic 7-6 third-set victory over Emily Roebker in the No. 4 flight before Sturgeon dropped just one game to Cotton and Koetter handled Knechtel, 6-1, 6-2, to close out victory for the Norse.

The win pushes NKU to 19-7 on the season as the Norse await their selection to the NCAA Tournament.  The field of 64 teams will be announced on Wednesday, April 29.