Two quick losses at conference tourney end Eagles’ season

"It's a disappointing way to end the season," head coach Jody Bronson said. "We were good enough to win those matches and we didn't. We didn't come through and step up."

In their first day of competition at the C-USA tournament, the 11th-seeded Golden Eagles fell to sixth-seeded Louisville, 4-1.

Marquette's No. 1 duo of freshman Maria Calbeto and sophomore Dominika Dabrowski showed an impressive effort against Natalie Laszkowski and Kelly Taylor. The team battled for each point but lost, 9-7.

At the No. 2 spot, freshmen partners Elsemieke Dokter and Erin Watkins were defeated by Louisville's Suzanna Garcanin and Robyn White, 8-1.The only Golden Eagle to have any success during singles was sophomore Andrea Bukacek. She tallied a point against Tiffany Fox in No. 6 singles, winning 6-1, 6-0.

"It's great when the seventh or eighth player can come into a match, having little experience during the year and be successful," Bronson said. "Andrea worked hard, and it's great that she had a win."

The Golden Eagles were unable to build on Bukacek's win and went scoreless for the rest of the singles matches. Taylor defeated Watkins in No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-4. At the No. 4 spot, sophomore Francina Bonnelly was knocked off by Laszkowski, 6-0, 6-4. Dabrowski was beaten by Garcanin in No. 5 singles, 6-4, 6-2. The result was decided before the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches were completed.

The following morning, Marquette competed against Cincinnati in the consolation bracket. Despite beating the Bearcats less than a month earlier, the Golden Eagles came up short, 4-2.

"A couple of our players just did not show up ready to play," Bronson said. "People fell apart."

The match seemed to belong to the Golden Eagles after wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spot led to capturing the doubles point. Watkins paired up with Dokter to defeat sisters Jill and Julie Klauck, 8-1, in No. 2 doubles. In No. 3 doubles, the duo of Bonnelly and Bukacek clinched the point with a win over Cristina Reyes and Madison Reasoner, 8-5.

Despite leading, Marquette's fortunes took a turn for the worse during individual play.

"It was great that we won the doubles point and had that edge going into singles," Bronson said. "But at some point we went from playing to win, to

playing not to lose."

Watkins was defeated by Jill Klauck, 6-1, 6-0, in No. 3 singles, and Dabrowksi was defeated by Julie Klauck, 6-0, 6-3, at the No. 5 spot. Bukacek was knocked off by Cincinnati's Lindsay Brown in No. 6 singles, 6-1, 6-2. Bonnelly won her first set against Hannah Hinton in No. 4 singles, but dropped the next two, losing 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

Perhaps driven by the notion that this was her last competitive college match, Dokter ended her Marquette tennis career with a win at No. 2 singles. She deafeted Samantha Liu in three sets, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.

"Else got better this year," Bronson said. "She never held back and went all out for each point, hit or miss. She played to win and her intensity, enthusiasm and desire showed in her play on the court."

The Golden Eagles ended its season with a record of 5-17.

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on April 26 2005.