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Urban Knights Sweep Dominican in Opener

Getting back to where they want to be will be a tough task, but the Academy of Art University women’s tennis team made it all look easy on Feb. 14 when it opened its season with a 9–0 sweep over Dominican University of California at the Castellucci Family Tennis Center.

The Urban Knights (1–0) are looking to make it back to the NCAA Division II West Regional at season’s end, a tournament they made an appearance in for the first time in program history last season. Competition in the West is no slouch with nine Pacific West Conference teams ranked among the preseason top-30, including No. 14 ART U, but Saturday was smooth sailing.

The only real challenge the Urban Knights faced was at No. 1 singles, where senior Nina Gajdosikova (Graphic Design), ranked No. 43 in the nation, faced Dominican’s Rickmae Torres, ranked No. 36. Torres took the first set from Gajdosikova 6–2, but the ART U veteran returned the favor with a 6–1 victory in set No. 2.

WTennis - Jenny Johansson (by Rob Garcia)

Jenny Johansson. Photo by Rob Garcia.

Gajdosikova found herself down again, however, in the deciding tiebreaker, facing a 6-1 deficit in a race to 10 points. But she stormed back, outscoring Torres 10–3 over the next 13 points to win the tiebreaker and the match, 11–9.

It was the second time during the day that Gajdosikova had defeated Torres after she teamed with sophomore Annika Schneider (Graphic Design) to win the No. 1 doubles match 8–1. Senior Jenny Johansson (Fashion Design) and junior Lucia Zavarcikova (Motion Pictures & Television) won the No. 2 doubles match 8–4 while senior Kinga Kurczbuch (Industrial Design) and junior Michelle Dandik Zaale (Fashion Design) paired to win 8-0 at No. 3 doubles, giving ART U an early 3–0 lead.

Johansson cruised over Dominican’s Mackenzie Flanagan 6–0 at No. 6 singles. Schneider also dominated in her No. 3 singles match, beating Chloe Vicari 6–1, 6–0. Zavarcikova (No. 2, 6–3, 6–1), freshman Advertising major Dorota Markowska (No. 4, 6–2, 6–2) and Dandik Zaale (No. 5, 6–3, 6–1) also all won in singles.