Lankelma moves into career wins lead at UNI

WATERLOO – The Northern Iowa women’s tennis team completed its first perfect home-court season since 2001, and Marshalltown native Krissy Lankelma became the Panthers’ winningest doubles player ever.

Pretty good day for the purple and gold.

Lankelma and Sydney Wolfe paired up for an 8-2 triumph over Bradley’s Cassia Wojtalik and Ariel Dechter in the No. 3 doubles position, helping Northern Iowa (12-10, 2-3) wrap up an 11-0 record at home with a 6-1 victory over the Braves inside the Black Hawk Tennis Club on Sunday.

Lankelma, a 2010 Marshalltown High School graduate and two-time prep state singles champion, improved to 22-12 in doubles play this year and 84-46 for her career. Her 84th win moved her past a pair of former Panthers who had shared the record – Maria McDonald (1982-86) and Phoebe Walker (2008-13) – until Sunday.

“It was awesome to end on the note that we did, getting a win over Bradley,” Lankelma said, “but it is kind of sad that this is my last time playing here.

“We got a lot of support from the community, a lot of people came out to watch, which is really nice.”

Lankelma, who won the last 41 singles matches of a 75-6 career as a Marshalltown Bobcat, also scored a straight-set singles victory at the No. 5 position against Bradley’s Carly Miles, 6-1, 6-2. It moved Lankelma’s singles record to 21-13 this season and 74-56 for her career – good for seventh all-time on UNI’s career singles wins list.

“(I’m) really proud of her, just super-excited with what she’s been able to accomplish,” said UNI head coach Daniel Finn. “Coming back to the program and what she’s given to the program, having so many young players, her being on the team this year has just been vital. She’s taken over in some big moments and really shown a lot of leadership.

“She’s definitely a special player. It was Senior Day so we were able to honor her at the beginning and honor her with a victory. She deserves the record, and to break it on Senior Day was great for her.”

The Panthers close out their regular season on Friday, facing Missouri Valley Conference frontrunner Wichita State in Wichita, Kan. The MVC Tournament is April 25-27 in Normal, Ill.