The Wildcat’s men and women’s tennis teams parted ways to TCU and Baylor this past weekend to compete at the ITA Regional Championship against other Div. 1 schools from all across the state.
Junior Henry Adams and senior Nico Agritelley made it to the third round of the main draw of men’s doubles, but lost to first seed Sendegeya and Thomson of Texas Tech, 8-5. Sendegeya/Thomson went on to reach the finals of the men’s doubles, ultimately losing the title to third seed Lunkin and Rinderknech of Texas A&M.
The other four men’s doubles teams lost in the round of 32 of the main draw but found success in the consolation bracket. The team of juniors Paul Domanski and Hunter Holman posted a victory over Hoogenbuezem and Lis of Lamar, 8-6, but fell in the quarterfinals to a team from UTSA.
Brothers Jonathan and Joshua Sheehy posted doubles victories over teams from UTA and UIW, taking them into the quarterfinals of the consolation bracket against teammates junior Brad Gleason and sophomore Sebastian Langdon who defeated Tech’s team of Cobb and Moceanu, 8-5, in the third round. The Sheehy brothers came out on top in the quarterfinals, 8-6, but fell to Baylor in the semifinals.
Sophomore Josh Sheehy said he knew that coming into the tournament as a newer Div. 1 program still in transition meant that they were going to be seen as the underdogs against the elite schools from Texas. But the team embraced the adversity, playing confidently.
“We pulled off some wins that people may not have expected from our team,” Sheehy said. “All of us won at least a few matches and represented the Wildcats well.”
In singles, Jackson Fine and Langdon posted wins in the consolation bracket leading them to face each other in the quarterfinals where Fine claimed victory, 6-3, 6-2. Fine went on to face Logan Powell of Lamar in the semifinals, but lost in two sets of 6-3, 6-3.
On the women’s side, junior Lucile Pothier defeated UTA’s Jessica Birowski in the first round, but lost to third seed, Neda Koprcina of Texas by a score of 6-2, 6-1. Freshman Sarah Adams, sophomores Elizabeth Ryan and Autumn Crossnoe and junior Erin Walker all made it to the third round of the women’s singles consolation bracket, but fell to opposition from Texas Tech, Lamar, TCU and Texas A&M.
In doubles, the team of Crossnoe and sophomore Jordan Henry posted a victory over a team from UIW, but fell in the second round to Kononova and Kutubidze of UNT, 8-2. The team of Pothier/Adams lost to Texas A&M’s duo of Bhosale and Pierson, 8-4. In doubles consolation, the duo of Walker/Williams defeated Victoria Kareh and Sarah Savedra of UIW, 8-3, but fell in the quarterfinals to Lauren Hidalgo-Smith and Darinka Tiboldi of SFA.
Head coach Hutton Jones said he was proud of the way that his team played in Fort Worth and Waco, and that he is consistently seeing improvement on the court as the Wildcats continue to compete against elite competition. He said that the Wildcats take no satisfaction in losing, but that it is through loss that you learn what works, what doesn’t, and learn the competitive skills that will ultimately win you matches in the future.
“It doesn’t matter if an opponent is a little better if we compete better,” Jones said. “We don’t necessarily always have to be better. We have to be close, and then we have to be better competitors to close that gap and go over it.”
With the end of the ITA Regionals, fall season for the Wildcats comes to a close as they prepare for the 2017 spring season which will begin after winter break.