Tennis closed the conference portion of its schedule April 14 and 16 with some of the Southland’s toughest competition, as the men were unable to pick up a win and the women defeated Incarnate Word but fell in a 4-3 decision to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
On the men’s side, the Wildcats struggled to get anything going against the Cardinals, as UIW swept the match 7-0. Junior Josh Sheehy and seniors Paul Domanski and Hunter Holman each battled to a tiebreaker in the third set, but each fell short. The loss was the men’s first conference loss of the season and with the win UIW clinched the top spot in next weekend’s Southland Conference Tournament.
The loss to UIW also meant that the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the tournament would be decided in Monday’s matchup against TAMU-CC. Both entering the match with one loss, the Islanders took control early against the Wildcats, winning all three doubles matches. With the 1-0 lead, TAMU-CC then took all but one of the singles matches as sophomore Jonathan Sheehy held rallied against William Mottet for the come from behind, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory at the No. 2 spot.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Islanders still came away with the 6-1 win and clinched the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Meanwhile, the women flipped the script on UIW, winning every single set to sweep the Cardinals and at the time winning their fifth-straight match. In fact, ACU let just two sets get as far as 6-4, winning every other one by a score of 6-3 or better.
But on Monday the Islanders snapped the Wildcats five-match win streak, despite ACU taking the early 1-0 lead after freshman Nini Memishishi and senior Lucile Pothier clinched the doubles point with a 7-6 (7-4) victory. However, TAMU-CC rebounded to win four of six singles matches and remain in contention for the top seed in the conference tournament.
Senior Whitney Williams said the loss to the Islanders stung but she’s optimistic moving forward.
“The loss against Corpus Christi was disappointing for all of us, but we fought hard until the end,” Williams said. “Fortunately for them they had the home court advantage. However, if and when we face them again at the conference tournament, I think it’ll be a different story. We will be more fired up and ready to compete.”
With the loss the women finish conference at 7-4, having had all four losses come as 4-3 decisions and will likely get the sixth seed heading into the conference tournament this weekend.
“We are all looking forward to the conference tournament and redeeming ourselves in some past tough 4-3 losses,” Williams said. “I’m excited to be playing in Beaumont at Lamar because when we faced them in a dual match we all played really well at those courts. So, I think that’s promising when looking towards the tournament.”
Both the men and women will finish up their regular season slates Tuesday as they host Oklahoma Baptist in a non-conference match.