CHICAGO — The University of Illinois at Chicago women's tennis team's historic streak is history.
The Flames were edged 4-3 by Detroit on Saturday at the Flames Outdoor Tennis Courts, ending UIC's consecutive conference winning streak at 146, which had been an NCAA record.
It was the first conference defeat for the Flames (11-5, 3-1 Horizon League) since April 21, 1996, when they lost to Green Bay.
And it was the first time UIC coach Shannon Tully had dropped a conference match. In her 12th season, she had been 113-0 in conference play.
"It doesn't feel good to lose, but it shows us there are some things we need to work on and improve on," Tully said Sunday afternoon. "We needed more fight ... instead of playing not to lose."
"I haven't been on this end in almost 12 years," Tully added. "Definitely feels different. Now that it's over, it's getting the eventual stress of a loss off of me."
In the deciding match at No. 6 singles, UIC's Keti Mebuke fell to Detroit's Elena Strakhova 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
"We had great energy from beginning to end," Detroit coach Pjotrs Necajevs told detroittitans.com. "The team kept believing in themselves and fought very hard to the end. That was the difference maker today."
Said Tully: "There was definitely some surprise because we had been expected to win."