Northwestern State blows by Southeastern to open the Southland Conference Tournament

NEW ORLEANS – Patrycja Polanska provided the clinching point in Northwestern State’s last Southland Conference Tournament win in 2019.

As a senior in her last SLC Tournament, Polanska did the honors again Friday as her singles victory on court six finished off No. 8 seed Southeastern in 4-0 fashion.

Top-seeded NSU (15-4) has particularly excelled in the bottom half of its singles lineup this season, and the Lady Demons claimed three of the bottom four courts to ensure a quick two-hour win Friday to begin the Southland Conference Tournament.

“We did a good job today, and we had a great start in doubles to set the tone,” said second-year NSU coach Jonas Brobeck, who also earned his first SLC Tournament win as a head coach. “We took that with us to singles, and we did a great job of getting quick wins.

“There were tough conditions with wind, heat and humidity, but I thought we handled it fairly well. It’s important that we minimized court time when you want to compete three straight days at a tournament.”

The Lady Demons will face New Jersey Institute of Technology (11-7) in the semifinals Saturday at 10 a.m. No. 4 seed NJIT outlasted No. 5 seed Nicholls 4-1 in a match that went about three-and-a-half hours.

NJIT isn’t a fully-fledged SLC member, beating UIW and falling to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the regular season in their only SLC competition.

After clinching the doubles point against SLU, NSU received singles points from No. 3 Mariella Minetti, No. 5 Viktorie Wojcikova and Polanska.

Minetti bested Kate Oborina 6-2, 6-1 while Wojcikova pushed past Sonya Kanarskaya 6-2, 6-1.

Polanska needed an extra game on Court 6, topping Bogi Csordas 6-2, 6-2.

“Tournament play is a little bit different because everything is reset,” said Brobeck, whose Lady Demons rolled through SLC play at 6-0. “We got the nerves out of our system today.”

NSU captured the first two doubles points on the top two courts.

Tjasa Klevisar teamed up with Minetti to score a 6-1 victory against SLU’s Flory Bierma and Putri Insani.

NSU’s No. 2 tandem of Rozalie Dohnalova/Wojcikova clinched the point with a 6-2 win over SLU’s Polina Sleptsova/Polina Paunova.

The Lady Demons led on two of the three unfinished singles courts.

Klevisar led 6-5 in the first-set tiebreaker as she knotted 6-6 with Paunova at No. 2.

Ayu Ishibashi edged Flory Bierma 7-5 in the first set on No. 4.

“It’s great for them to be in quality matches and get quality playing time on courts that they’re not used to and in conditions they aren’t used to.

“We’ll have to play smart and be brave in certain aspects going forward in this tournament.”

SLU’s Insani won the first set at No. 1 against Dohnalova 6-3 and led 2-1 in the second set.

PHOTO: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services