The Wildcats tennis teams swept Lamar this week with both teams securing 4-3 victories over the Cardinals.
The women’s team faced the Cardinals on Sunday after losing to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 5-2 on Friday.
“We knew we were the better team and that we should win,” assistant coach Bryan Rainwater said. “Every match is gonna be a battle for us. Lamar gave us their best and every match was close. We know we have to go and take care of everyone.”
Later in the week, the men’s team defeated the Cardinals 4-3 on Thursday. A major plus for the Wildcats is that they’re getting healthier heading into the last stretch of the season.
“Everything you expect out of a conference match with the way we fought,” head coach Juan Nunez said. “Feels great to win and all the credit goes to the guys because they earned it. We’ve had some tough losses lately but this is the healthiest we’ve been in a month and a half. Extremely happy for these guys because they’ve been punched a few times.”
The major concern for the women’s team right now is injuries. The Wildcats lost junior Slyvia Viljoen for the year with an ACL tear.
“Sylvia tore her ACL so she’s out for the year,” Rainwater said. “The past couple of months have shown that we can win matches as a team. We’ve gotten wins from different people at different times that have given us energy. We only have seven girls in the lineup and so we all have to play our role.”
The women’s team currently sits seventh in the Southland with a 4-3 conference record. The Wildcats now have more time off between matches due to the COVID-19 outbreak at Incarnate Word that cancelled the match scheduled for this weekend between the Wildcats and Cardinals.
“We’re gonna have to continue with the lineup we have,” Rainwater said. “We can’t complain too much because we’ve fought really hard. Still being able to win without Sylvia as a team is huge for our confidence. It shows our toughness.”
The men’s team now heads into their final three matches of the season starting with top ranked Tyler Junior College this Saturday.
“TJC is a great program,” Nunez said. “They’re always a top program. Their coach is great and are always in the top five every year. We usually play them in early February but this year it didn’t happen because of COVID.”
The men’s team currently sits third in the conference out of six with a 2-2 conference record. Nunez hopes to secure a winning record in the conference with a win against Incarnate Word next weekend.
“I hope to finish with a winning record in conference,” Nunez said. “Obviously it’s hard to get a winning record for the regular season when we play Baylor, Tech, SMU and Oklahoma, but I would love to get a winning record in the conference and get to the conference tournament. I told the guys we need a win this weekend because we’re the healthiest we’ve been. We gotta get a win next weekend and then hopefully surprise somebody in the tournament.”