By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
The Omni Rolex Regionals came to a close last weekend for the ACU women’s tennis team, with no Wildcats qualifying for nationals.
The Wildcats wouldn’t go down without a fight in the three day tournament, held at Abilene’s Rose Park Ten-nis Center.
On Friday, three of the final four doubles teams to advance were from ACU. Lacy Johnson and Kristen Chum-ley defeated fellow teammates Joy Israel and Rachel Taylor to advance to the doubles final and defend their title. Colleen Reynolds and Sarah Taweel also made it to the semifinals, but lost to the Northeastern State duo of Zorana Stefanovic and Barbera Neus.
In Saturday’s final, John-son and Chumley played Ste-fanovic and Neus in one of the best doubles matches of the weekend. Northeastern State’s Stefanovic and Neus came out on top by a score of 8-4.
“We didn’t play as well as we would have liked to. Both girls have good serves and great volleys. They just outplayed us,” Johnson said.
In singles play, Taweel and Johnson both made the semifinals. Taweel lost her semifinal match to Stefanovic 6-0, 6-2. Johnson, however, ad-vanced to the final by defeating Stefanovic’s partner Neus 7-5, 6-4. In the final against the top seeded Stefanovic, the former Cooper High standout Johnson was defeated 6-2, 6-1.
Johnson had nothing but praise for the player who defeated her in both the doubles and singles final.
“Zorana is a great player. She is a big, strong girl with a very good serve,” Johnson said. “Her main strength was just overpowering everyone else and causing others to make mistakes. She played great and deserves to go to nationals.”
Johnson, arguably the top women’s player at ACU, was the No. 2 singles seed and the No. 1 seed (along with Chum-ley) in doubles this week-end. She said she hoped she taught some of her younger teammates how the game is played-hard and graciously.
“Even though we didn’t win this tournament, it was a great confidence builder for the spring,” Johnson said. “We proved that we are a tough team by sending three of four teams to the semis in doubles.”
Other notables from the regional weekend were Summer Beesley and Kristen Chumley advancing to quarterfinals in singles play and Ashley Hawk winning the consolation bracket by defeating Eastern New Mexico’s No. 1 player.
The Wildcats will play their final tournament of the fall on the weekend of Oct. 25 at Abilene’s own Wal-Mart Open.