When Wichita State’s Satjaporn Moahajaroenkul found out she would face Illinois State’s Stefanie Youngberg in the fifth flight singles championship match Sunday, she quickly developed a strategy — use all the techniques Youngberg hates.
Moahajaroenkul played Youngberg once before, so she knew Youngberg’s style of play, which is why Moahajaroenkul’s plan worked and she defeated Youngberg 6-0, 6-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Tennis Individual Championship at WSU.
“I just played everything she doesn’t like, that’s what makes the match easier. I felt like I controlled everything in the match so I didn’t let any point get away from me,” Moahajaroenkul said. “I wanted to win the match easier, and I didn’t want to lose any games or any points.”
Moahajaroenkul used short shots, slices, lob shots and put spin on the ball in a combination that kept Youngberg from winning a single game.
One court over, WSU’s Montse Blasco Fernandez defeated Drake’s Maddie Johnson 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 in a completely different fashion. The sixth flight singles championship match went three long sets, and was still being played long after the other matches finished.
“She lost a long first set where she had a set point, so that could have been a big emotional letdown for her, but she just had confidence in her game. She kept plugging away and built a lead in the second and the third,” WSU coach Colin Foster said.
Before Moahajaroenkul and Fernandez’s singles victories, the two claimed the title in the third flight doubles championship game — WSU’s only doubles team to take away a first-place plaque. The WSU pair defeated Drake’s Mariel Ante and Maddie Johnson 8-4.
“This is the second time for us to play doubles together, and we never practice together at all, so it’s a surprise for me that we won the tournament,” Moahajaroenkul said. “I think I have good hands and she’s good in the back but she can play up also, so it’s a good combination actually.”
Freshman Rebecca Pedrazzi also took a first-place singles title in the fourth flight, when she defeated Illinois State’s Kadi Ilves 6-4, 6-1. Pedrazzi’s positive mindset carried her through the tournament.
“I just played. I didn’t think about anything, I just played tennis and had fun,” Pedrazzi said.
Although WSU’s second flight doubles team and second flight singles player lost in the championship matches Sunday, the Shockers claimed four of the ten first-place titles — two more than both Southern Illinois and Illinois State.
“Last year we won seven titles here, so it shows the rest of the conference is getting better, but we are still the team to beat,” Foster said. “We’re proud of winning the most titles, but hungry to do better in our fall season and spring season.”
Southern Illinois’ Melanie Delsart defeated Drake’s Klavdija Rebol 6-0, 7-6 for the first flight singles championship game. Northern Iowa’s Krissy Lankelma and Phoebe Walker won 8-4 over Evansville’s Natasha James and Kelsey Costales in the first flight doubles championship.