Tennis finishes road schedule at McNeese on Sunday

LAKE CHARLES – The Northwestern State tennis team has heard it all season – control what one can, and the team will be in a strong position.

Everything is in the Lady Demons control when it comes to a Southland Conference regular season title, and Northwestern State could clinch a share with a win Sunday at McNeese (2-13, 0-3 SLC).

NSU (11-4, 4-0 SLC) cleared its biggest hurdle to date with a 6-1 win against Texas A & M-Corpus Christi this past Sunday.

In a six-match SLC slate, NSU’s would-be fifth win Sunday sets up a home match April 9 against Nicholls to win the conference title outright.

The Colonels (10-6, 2-0 SLC) enter their two-match weekend undefeated as well with trips to UIW on Friday and TAMU-CC on Sunday.

NSU hasn’t won a share of a regular season tennis title 2014 with its last outright title in 2010.

“(Keeping our focus), that’s the key,” said NSU coach Jonas Brobeck. “Our motto throughout the entire year has been to control the things we can control, controlling ourselves and our preparation.

“We can control how we take care of our bodies and the daily stuff. It’s also huge to get more time to recover from this past weekend when our girls played with such enthusiasm and energy in front of great crowds.”

Freshman Tjasa Klevisar was a catalyst in the two wins this past week, earning Southland Conference Player of the Week honors.

She won both singles sets by holding her opponent to no more than three games in any one set and went a combined 24-8 in two singles matches.

“I was more confident, and you can see the progress I’ve made,” said Klevisar, who is 8-5 at No. 2 singles with four wins in her last five matches. “I got on top of (my opponents), and I finished it.

“I was moving well, moving on my forehand. With that, everything clicked and everything went in.”

Brobeck points to a competitive loss against UNO’s Lina Hohnhold as a turning point for Klevisar.

“Tjasa has really come to terms with what she needs to do to be successful,” Brobeck said. “Even though she she didn’t win against UNO, she was 1-2 points from beating a very good player.

“She was so mature about it and understood that she was playing better and doing the right things, and she built confidence on that. That’s very mature for a freshman to be able to do that, and since then, she’s settled in, is calm in herself and is playing very good tennis. ”

NSU singles have been strongest in the middle of the lineup, and Klevisar’s recent success extends that toward the top.

The Lady Demons are a combined 41-12 from spots No. 2-5 in the lineup, including 15-1 in league play. Mariella Minetti (11-2), Ayu Ishibashi (10-2) and Viktorie Wojcikova (9-3) are the primary players at No. 3-5.

McNeese (2-13, 0-3 SLC) is still looking for its first SLC win. After getting shut out in four straight matches, which included a 7-0 loss to New Orleans, the Cowgirls have scored eight points in their last three.

Two of those matches were 5-2 losses to UIW and Nicholls, but a 4-3 win against Loyola-New Orleans snapped a seven-match losing streak dating back to their previous win Feb. 6 against Grambling.

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