The men’s and women’s tennis teams each began their conference season on the right foot, sweeping Nicholls State 6-1 and 5-2 respectively.
Head Coach Hutton Jones said it’s a good start but the team has to put together its best performance each time out.
“We have a chance to be good this year, but we’re not good enough to play poorly and win,” Jones said. “We have to show up and play to our top end to compete in this conference. I felt like both teams, without some toughness and without some perseverance, that match could’ve have turned at any time. Both sides showed a lot of grit and showed a lot of perseverance.”
For the men, senior duos of Hunter Holman and Paul Domanski, and Henry Adams and Brad Gleason earned doubles victories to give the Wildcats the early lead.
In singles action, junior Josh Sheehy and sophomore Jonathan Sheehy rebounded from their doubles loss to each take care of Nicholls No. 1 and No. 2 in straight sets. The Colonels got one back at the No. 3 line, but Holman and Adams each took a third set tiebreaker and Domanski posted a 6-0, 7-5 straight set win to finalize the team victory.
With the win, the men are now 9-7 on the season overall and 1-0 in Southland Conference competition.
Meanwhile, the women needed a little longer to put away the victory than the men, but still did so in convincing fashion. After taking the doubles point, seniors Lucile Pothier and Whitney Williams took the No. 1 and No. 2 lines to give ACU the advantage. Pothier responded with 6-2 and 6-4 wins in sets two and three after dropping the first set and Williams provided a straight-set sweep 6-1, 7-5.
Pothier was also named the Southland Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week after posting her sixth straight individual win and fifth straight doubles victory.
However, Nicholls got two points back at the No. 3 and No. 4 lines as sophomore Sarah Adams and junior Autumn Crossnoe each faltered. But the Wildcats’ freshman came through in the No. 5 and No. 6 spots, as Nini Memishishi and Ileana Mocciola came away with dominant performances and the women improved to 7-3 as a team and 1-0 in conference this spring.
“We can go undefeated in the regular season and go to the conference tournament and still not be able to go to the NCAA’s,” Jones said. “It’s more like creating the right look of how you’re competing and that other stuff will come. We’re trying to create a feeling out there.”
The women return to conference action on Saturday against Central Arkansas a day after they host the University of Houston. The team is on a three-game win streak after wins over New Mexico and Midwestern State preceded the conference victory against Nicholls.
The men will also be back in action this Friday when they welcome Rice to town. They get back to conference play March 10 against Lamar.