Tennis bids farewell to seniors, looks to extend winning streak

The UCA Bears tennis team returned to the courts last weekend, looking to extend its three-game win streak at the expense of Alcorn State and Incarnate word.

Play began Saturday morning with doubles action as freshman QiLi Ma and sophomore Rada Manataweewat quickly defeated Marlene Mier and Klavdija Bukovec of Alcorn State 6-1. Xylia Chunan Xiang and Amiru Shimoguchi followed that up by easily beating Ekaterina Potapova and Siobhan Ryan-Bovey 6-0 and Krizia Buck and Nataly Yoo finished off the sweep by taking down Aida Kelic and Ivana Boberic 6-2, giving the Bears the doubles point.

Ma opened singles play with a dominating performance, taking a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Ryan-Bovey and Marli Van Heerden followed her up by defeating her opponent from the Lady Braves 6-0, 6-1.

Buck would then take a 6-0, 6-2 win over Mier to put a quick victory in reach for the Bears, and Shimoguchi would deliver that win with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Boberic.

The 5-0 sweep for the Sugar Bears ended Alcorn State’s four game winning streak and gave the Bears momentum heading into their matches Sunday with Incarnate Word.

Xiang and Shimoguchi continued their doubles winning streak by taking the first match against Lady Cardinals 6-4.

Yoo and Buck would then fall in a very competitive match 7-6, but Buck still cherished her time partnering with Yoo.

“It was fun to play with Nataly even though we lost on senior day, we had a great time. We tried to fight through, but it wasn’t enough to win both days,” Buck said.

Ma and Manataweewat would take the third and final doubles match 7-5 to deliver the crucial doubles point to the Bears.

Ma would continue her outstanding play by taking the first singles game 6-2, 6-1 over Victoria Kareh, but Incarnate Word would take the second match after Yoo was forced to retire after two sets.

Buck would get the Bears back on track with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Maria Batchinsky, much to the delight of her fellow senior Yoo.

“Krizia was definitely the one match that stood out. She fought hard for her match, with failing and bloody knees. She came out with a great win. So proud to be her fellow Senior,” Yoo said.

Shimoguchi would then take the fourth and deciding victory over Taryn Strahl 6-4, 7-6 to put the Bears up 4-1.

Though UCA would lose the final two matches, they would take the day 4-3 to cap off a successful weekend.

With the victory, UCA improves to 13-6 on the season and extends its win streak to five games. The Sugar Bears have two huge games coming up next weekend, as they head to Texas to take on the top two teams in the Southland Conference, the 18-0 Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi Islanders and the 17-5 Abilene Christian Wildcats.

This article originally appeared in the April 6, 2016 print edition of The Echo.

image via Twitter


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