Tennis downs Murray State, North Alabama, climbs to 3-5

The UCA tennis team opened its home season with a 6-1 victory over the Murray State University Racers and a 7-0 blowout against the University of Northern Alabama Lions over the weekend.

The Bears’ seasonal record climbed to 3-5.

Saturday’s match against MSU proved to be a successful day for UCA’s doubles play.

The Bears won all three matches, which broke the Racers’ hopes for victory.

Sophomore Allison Murphy and freshman Krizia Buck pulled in their second doubles win this season with an 8-6 victory over senior Ashley Canty and junior Carla Suga.

“[Krizia and I] played really well together,” Murphy said. “We are getting used to playing together and it keeps getting better.”

Juniors Simona Horsikyan and Sasha Ruocco beat freshmen Megan Blue and Erin Patton, 8-5, making Saturday’s match their second doubles win, as well.

Sophomore Kristina Horsikyan and freshman Anna Buyukyan picked up their fifth doubles victory this season, 8-5, over sophomore Carolyn Huerth and freshman Suzaan Stoltz.

Kristina said the consistent communication in practice and the match made the win.

The Bears picked up three victories and one loss in singles play, with two leading matches declared unfinished because of rain.

The Sunday morning rain moved the match against UNA to the Burns Park indoor courts in North Little Rock.

UCA continued its winning streak with domination of the doubles competition 8-4, 8-3, 8-1, and six singles victories.

Head Coach Jeff Borengasser said, “We worked hard, especially on doubles this week and I feel like it paid off.”

The matches marked Buck’s and Murphy’s third doubles win of the season, Simona’s and Ruocco’s third victory of the season and Kristina’s and Buyukyan’s sixth doubles win with an 8-1 triumph over juniors Madison Patey and Mary Anne Sykes.

Borengasser said he plans to stick with the same pairs when the Bears return to conference play against Nicholls State Feb. 16.

Kristina defeated sophomore Natalia Barrigan 6-3, 7-6 in a lengthy match to earn her third singles victory of the season.

During the match, Kristina asked official Rick Carmichael to review Barrigan’s out-of-bounds call.

Carmichael said, “Had [Kristina] not asked me, I wouldn’t have made a call, but I saw [the ball]grazing the line, so I had to call it in, which made the game point for the UCA player.”

UNA Head Coach Brice Bishop said he thought the Lions played “very average.”

“I don’t think we played as well as we’re capable, but it’s early in the season,” Bishop said. “It’s only our third match of the year, so we [have]a lot of getting better to do.”

Borengasser said he was happy with the focus and intensity he saw on the courts throughout the weekend and that the girls are ready “to play their best” Feb. 16.

The Bears host the Nicholls State Colonels on at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.

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