By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
The Lady Wildcats extended their recent string of successes by winning four matches in three days over spring break.
The ACU women disposed of Stephen F. Austin (9-0) and Sam Houston St. (7-2) on March 7. The victories continued to come as they won over St. Edwards and Incarnate Word (9-0) on March 8 and 9.
The women’s team now has a record of 12-1 on the season, with the lone defeat coming at the hands of Division I powerhouse Kentucky.
“The girls just keep rolling,” head coach Hutton Jones said. “We knocked off two Division I schools Friday and we pretty much dominated the matches. They are coming together just like I expected.”
Jones said this year’s team may be the best women’s tennis team in ACU history.
“We are so strong and so balanced from top to bottom,” Jones said. “We have had some close individual matches that went three sets, and I keep telling my girls that real tennis is when matches split and go to three sets. That’s the norm on the pro circuit. It’s not our girls’ fault that they are dominating; I’m just trying to give them as tough of competition as I can.”
The Lady Wildcats will travel to Tulsa, Okla., on Friday to play Division I opponents Oral Roberts and Tulsa.
The ACU men were also dominant during their spring break run. The men defeated Lamar, St. Edward’s and Incarnate Word to improve their record and move up to No. 2 in the region behind Drury.
They also played Texas A&M last Monday but were defeated by a Division I team who is ranked in the top-30 in the nation. Jones said he was very pleased with his team’s effort.
“The guys played a close match and beat Lamar on Friday,” Jones said. “Some guys came through to win in some tight situations, and I think that gave them some confidence for next day. We beat Incarnate Word, the team who eliminated us last season, and moved ahead of them in the regional standings. Our goal is to win out the rest of our D-II matches.”
Jones said if the men win the rest of their matches then ACU will be able to host the regionals on home courts. This would allow the men’s team to travel less and study more as finals will be approaching, Jones said.
The coach said his team was well-prepared this weekend and he expects even better things.
“I feel like this team was improving every week, and we have some young guys who could get the job done and were ready to step up, and you never know for sure until you see them do it,” Jones said. “We had some younger players win some big matches. It’s almost like they aren’t freshmen anymore, they turned into players in some of these tougher matches.”
The men play Oklahoma State Tuesday and freshman Evan Puglia said they have one goal left this season.
“We want to get to nationals,” Puglia said.