Emma Gener and Alex Centra

Freshman Alex Centra and sophomore Emma Gener paused during a changeover against Marquette. 

The Jays powered over Marquette 5-2 to even their Big East record to 1-1 on Friday.

This was the first time the Bluejays defeated the Golden Eagles in program history.

Additionally, it was a valuable conference win before next month’s Big East Championships.

“We’ve been talking about trying to take that next step. This is maybe our strongest women’s team so taking that next step in the conference is something that’s been on our minds and something we’ve wanted to do,” coach Tom Lilly said.

“Looking at how they’ve gone through the season, we saw it should be a really good match and one that we have every opportunity to win. It was nice to take that next step.”

The day started with the securing of the doubles point as sophomore Kate Krueger and junior Sarah Wilcox topped Natilja Popovic and Andie Weise 6-1. Freshman Malvika Shukla and sophomore Emma Gener earned a close 7-5 win at the No. 3 position over Emilija Kojcic and Tiana Windbuchler.

The Jays earned four singles wins to cap the victory.

The Bluejays picked up victories at the top two slots as both sophomore Kate Krueger and junior Sarah Wilcox handled their matches in straight sets.

Lilly recognized the pair’s determination, and ability to lead by example this year.

“I think those two should be on the all-conference ballots and could both be all-conference players by the end of the year,” he said. “They’ve been really solid.”

Senior Joanna Nowakowska and freshman Malvika Shukla rounded out the No. 5 and 6 spots with straight set wins of their own.

Shukla’s 6-4, 6-1 win over Windbuchler was her third straight singles win at the No. 6 position.

“I give it my best effort. That’s what really matters at the end of the day. I make goals for practice, working on specific things and executing to the best level that I possibly can,” she said.

The only losses on the day included two set tiebreaks. The 4-2 Jays return on Friday to face UNO followed by St. Thomas on Saturday.

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