The UCA tennis team (2-2) faced off against two teams Jan. 28 in Jonesboro, resulting in a 4-1 loss to Western Athletic Conference defending champions, the University of Missouri at Kansas City (3-1), and a 4-0 win against Arkansas State University (0-6).
The doubles contest of the first match saw UMKC senior Melinda Johnson and sophomore Yana Grechkina take
on UCA sophomore Pornpawee Pramethong and junior Marli Van Heerden, resulting in a 6-4 loss for the Sugar Bears.
Next up for the doubles was junior QiLi Ma and senior Rada Manataweewat, who evened the score for the Sugar Bears with a 6-4 win over freshman Ioanna Lathouri and junior Katie Fries of the Kangaroos.
The Sugar Bears gained the lead when junior Xylia Chunan Xiang and senior Amiru Shimoguchi bested senior
Aliona Ladutska and freshman Grace Ball 6-3. In the singles portion, Van Heerden started the Sugar Bears off strong, defeating Ball 6-1, 6-2.
The Kangaroos turned it around with senior Jin Oh losing to Grechinka 3-6, 3-6. Pramethong fell to Ladutska
6-1,1-6, 3-6. The matches continued with Xiang losing to Fries 3-6, 2-6. Ma was beaten out by Johnson 6-4, 3-6, 3-6.
The final match went unfinished with Shimoguchi and sophomore Thanushree Vale both having taken a set. This left the Sugar Bears’ with a 4-1 loss. The team took to the court again later that afternoon to face off against the Red Wolves.
UCA started off the doubles matches with an early lead thanks to Ma and Manataweewat who scored a 6-3 win over Red Wolves’ junior Kirsty Venter and senior Sabina Jeresic. Xiang and Shimoguchi kept a winning streak going for the Sugar Bears with their 6-3 victory over junior Anita Detlava and sophomore Berta Masdevall Masip.
The next match between Van Heerden and Oh and sophomores Shelby King and Shannon O’Brien went
unfinished. The final single matches of the day went better than the first for UCA. Oh gained a 6-1, 6-1 win over Masdevall.
Ma kept it going for the Sugar Bears with her 6-3, 6-0 win over Jeresic. Next was Xiang who scored a 6-3, 6-3 win against Venter. Shimoguchi beat O’Brien 7-6, 2-2. Finishing it off for the Sugar Bears was Pramethong, who tied 5-7, 6-3 against King.
This led to the Sugar Bears victory over the Red Wolves with a final score of 4-0. On Feb. 11, the Sugar Bears
will play at the UCA Tennis Courts against Austin Peay State University at 9 a.m., before facing Oral Roberts University at 2 p.m.
Photo courtesy of UCASports.