By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The men’s tennis team improved to 19-5 with a pair of 9-0 wins over Incarnate Word and Central Oklahoma on Saturday at ACU’s Eager Tennis Pavilion.
Led by sophomore Casper Steenkamp at No. 1 singles and the tandem of senior Trent Broach and sophomore Evan Puglia at No. 1 doubles, the Wildcats made quick work of their opponents.
The victory over Central Oklahoma was sweet revenge for ACU, which lost 5-4 to the Bronchos in Edmond, Okla., last season.
“We felt like we could’ve beat them 9-0 last year,” said Broach, who won his No. 3 singles match over UCO’s David Richardson, 6-2, 6-3, on Saturday. “We didn’t play well and that was a huge upset. To dominate them this year, that felt good.”
Broach and his doubles partner, sophomore Evan Puglia, certainly dominated UCO’s No. 1 combo of Mouhcine Guettabi and Gregg leSueur, downing them 8-4 with an employed strategy.
“This team will get all over the net and kill you if you try to pass them,” Broach said. “But if you have good lob shots, they’ll go down a lot easier. It got to the point where even if they did get the volley [off the serve], they weren’t as close to the net because they were worried we’d lob them.”
The women’s team also easily defeated UIW and UCO on Saturday by scores of 9-0, 9-0, and improved to 19-4 in the process.
Sophomore Colleen Reynolds led the way at No. 1 singles, knocking off Incarnate Word 7-5, 6-0, and topping UCO 6-2, 6-3.
“It was a good win for us,” Reynolds said. “We needed to win both of those, and we went into the matches positive. We knew they were tough teams, but I think we definitely expected a victory. Winning 9-0 both times was just a little bit nicer.”
Reynolds said that the young ACU women’s team is pleased with where it’s at in the season.
“We’ve played well all year,” she said. “We’re a young team and we’re always trying to improve our games for next year, but we’ve definitely done well this season.”
Both teams take on Lone Star Conference rival Midwestern State in Wichita Falls Wednesday at 2 p.m. MSU is 10-6 so far this season, and 4-0 against conference opponents.
The ACU men knocked off the Indians in last year’s regional to advance to the D-II nationals.
“That will be a big grudge match for us,” Broach said. “They’ve lost a few guys and gained a few, but they’re still strong. They’ll be one of our tougher opponents this year, and we’re going to be getting heckled good by the crowd.”