DePaul women’s tennis advances to Big East championship game after defeating Villanova


Travis Bell/Big East

DePaul senior Marija Jovicic won her semifinals singles match on Sunday.

The DePaul women’s tennis team advanced to the Big East championship game after defeating No. 3 Villanova 4-1 in the semifinals on Sunday.

The Blue Demons are going for their fourth straight conference championship when they will face No. 1 Xavier on Monday. Xavier defeated No. 4 St. John’s 4-1 in the other semifinal on Sunday.

Both DePaul and Xavier have previously met each other in the championship game, with the most recent match coming in 2019. The Blue Demons were able to squeeze out a 4-3 victory after Alina Kuzmenkova won the last two sets to seal the championship. 

Fast forward two years and Kuzmenkova, this time a senior, is again having a major impact during the Big East Tournament. On Sunday, she won the fourth and final point for the Blue Demons with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Claudia Althans. 

Initially, the semifinals were supposed to take place on Saturday but rain forced the proceedings to extend into Sunday. Prior to the rain delay, however, DePaul won the first doubles point.

When play resumed again on Sunday, the Blue Demons won all three points to secure a berth to the championship game. Marija Jovicic won her match in two sets and Maddie Yergler repeated the same result in her match. 

Kuzmenkova eventually won the all-important fourth point to down Villanova. On Monday, the Blue Demons will look to win their fourth consecutive championship and their five in seven years. 

DePaul and Xavier did meet earlier this season, with the Musketeers winning 4-3. The Blue Demons have a chance to reach its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament if they can defeat Xavier.