The men and women’s tennis teams have claimed the Southland Conference crown in the past week.
The men took the conference crown for their program’s first Southland Conference regular-season title on April 12. The men also won their 20th straight match the following day, their first 20-win season since 2012.
The Wildcats defeated the Cardinals 4-3 featuring junior Jonathan Sheehy. He won his three-set comeback over Evans, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 and also had a 6-4 win over Boisseau and Valentinsson with his doubles partner Junior Nikolas Moceanu.
Junior Jackson Fine and Senior Cole Lawson beat Evans and Mortier to also grab a victory 6-4.
For singles, the Cardinals never took the lead on the Wildcats. The visitors tied the score at 1-1 when Dryer dispatched freshman Akinori Wada in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. However the Wildcats immediately regained the lead, to 2-1, after senior Josh Sheehy took down Mortier, 6-3, 6-4.
Mocaenu provided the Wildcats with a 3-1 lead after coming from a set down to beat Boisseau, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 for the win.
Freshman Riley Tran tied his match at one set apiece with a 6-2 second-set win, but then fell 6-1 in the third set to Valentinsson. Freshman Dimitris Azoides won his first set vs. Bendana, 7-5, but dropped his second set as Jonathan Sheehy was beginning his third versus Evans.
Jonathan Sheehy said the clinching match was one of the greatest moments of his college career.
“Moments like these are why I play tennis,” Sheehy said, “The hard work and dedication our team has put in really paid off this weekend, but we aren’t done yet.”
The next day, the men won their 20th match of the season with a 4-3 victory over UTSA. Freshman Azoides scored the match-winning point at singles coming back from a set down to defeat Reckow, 5-7,7-5, 6-4.
The last time the Wildcats earned a 20-win campaign was in 2012, when they posted 21-9 en route to reaching the NCAA DII quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, the women’s tennis team captured the Southland Conference regular-season title after winning 4-3 over the league’s defending regular-season and tournament champions, McNeese on Saturday.
The match-clinching point was recorded by freshman Allison Stewart, whose 15-9 regular-season single record includes a perfect 11-0 showing against Southland competition
It was followed by Mastilovic and Erlandsson beating sophomore Nini Memishishi and junior Sarah Adams, 6-4. Bellow and Mocciola now lead the Wildcats with 15 doubles wins together, while Stewart and Henry are 6-4.
Bellow went on to give ACU a 2-0 lead with her 12th win of the spring, beating Mastilovic, 6-2, 6-2. But the Cowgirls rallied twice to tie the score at 2-2 and 3-3.
McNeese recorded consecutive straight-set wins and then tied the score a second time following Fioretti’s 6-4, 6-4 match over Adams.
Stewart then held off Moreno for the deciding point, 6-2, 7-5, by becoming the first Wildcat to register a perfect Southland Conference regular-season since Pothier and Williams, the current graduate assistant coach.
The Wildcats finished their last regular season match with a 4-3 win against Midwestern State on Tuesday.
MSU’s team of Norrie and Palacios topped ACU’s Moceanu and Tran, and Pineda and McCaig edged Fine and Lawson 7-6 (5). It was their first loss in five matches.
At the top line, the Sheehy brothers played to a 5-5 unfinished draw against DII’s 21st- ranked duo of Westwick and Diaz.
The brothers bounced back in their singles to give ACU a 2-1 lead. Josh, who is ranked 112th in today’s ITA rankings, defeated Palacios, 6-2, 6-2, while his younger brother Jonathan downed Pineda, 6-2, 6-3. Josh has won his last seven matches, improving to 18-4 on the spring, while Jon’s record stands at 14-8 thanks to his current four-match winning streak.
With Tuesday’s results, the Wildcats finished their regular season with 96 singles victories through 25 matches and won 60 percent of their doubles contests (37-24).
“It was exhilarating going undefeated in conference,” Josh Sheehy said, “I couldn’t think of a better way to close out my senior year. Now we just need to keep pushing hard and go win the conference tournament this weekend.”
ACU’s next match is against four-seed Nicholls at the Southland Conference Championship 2 p.m. Friday. The winner will face the victor of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Incarnate Word for the conference championship.
Meanwhile, the women continue their tournament run looking to advance to the Southland Conference championship 2 p.m. on Friday.