Seniors Push DePaul Past Western Michigan
April 10, 2011
CHICAGO – On a day when DePaul celebrated its seniors – Katarina Milinkovic and Selma Salkovic, the senior pair pushed the Blue Demons to a 6-1 victory over Western Michigan on Sunday at the Lakeshore Athletic Club.
“I am incredibly pleased that we won, but today was more about celebrating two unbelievable playing careers,” head coach Mark Ardizzone said of his two seniors.
“What Katarina and Selma have meant to this program is hard to put into words. They have taken this DePaul tennis program to new heights and beyond.”
With the match over, Ardizzone, athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto – a former Blue Demon women’s tennis standout, and associate athletic director Kathryn Statz gathered on center court to thank two of DePaul’s most storied women’s tennis players.
Milinkovic and Salkovic, who clinched DePaul’s doubles point with an 8-4 win on the top court, have elevated DePaul’s program to national prominence since arriving in Lincoln Park in 2007. The pair has combined for 169 singles wins and 178 doubles victories in four years while helping the program to its first ever NCAA Team Tournament selection in 2010.
With the doubles point won, freshman Kelsey Lawson gave DePaul its second point of the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Maria Nivia on the third court. The Blue Demon freshman used explosive serves and long tallies to defeat the Bronco junior.
Gia McKnight tallied her 65th career singles win with a dominating 6-3, 6-1 victory in the second position over Maggie Remynse, which put DePaul one point from taking the dual.
Salkovic did not play singles against WMU (9-11), but the senior coached Cali Gustafson to a 6-2, 6-3 win on the fifth court which secured the match for the Blue Demons. Gustafson broke Miloslava Shustova’s serve to give the Blue Demons their fourth point of the match.
Milinkovic added another singles win in the top position on Sunday. The senior went point-for-point and battled with Western Michigan’s No. 1 player Nini Sujashvili. The pair traded long rallies and strong serves, but it was Milinkovic, who prevailed 6-4, 6-3.
With five of the six singles matches complete, the crowd and student-athletes from both teams gathered to watch Christiana Raymond and Jill Pastunink battle into tie breaker. Raymond won the first set 6-3 and was up 5-2 before Pastunink tied the second set a six to send it a breaker. The freshman from Westerville, Ohio, gritted out a 7-5 win.
As the match concluded and Ardizzone spoke of the seniors accomplishments, “they will always be remembered for their role in taking the 2010 team to the NCAA Championship and helping the Blue Demons to a 68-28 overall dual record in the last four season.”
Individually, Milinkovic tallied 20 or more singles victories in each of her four seasons and was named an All-BIG EAST performer in 2009 and 2010. She is one of four players in DePaul history to register over 90 singles wins and is 61-17 in duals and lost just one once at the Lakeshore Athletic Club.
Salkovic, who will always be known as DePaul’s best doubles player, has tallied 110 doubles victories and was part of DePaul’s first tandem to be selected to the NCAA Doubles Championship.
In 2009-10, Salkovic and 2010 graduate Anna Redecsi, ranked as high as No. 9 in the Campbell's/ITA Collegiate Doubles rankings and won the 2009 Indoor Midwest Regional and finished the season with a 34-9 mark. Salkovic is a two-time All-BIG EAST selection and boasts a 77-52 singles record.
DePaul 6, Western Michigan 1