Tennis moves to 2-2 overall; Bears defeat UT-Martin, lose to Racers

The UCA women’s tennis team has a 2-2 record after coming out of the past weekend with both a loss to Murray State and a win against the University of Tennessee-Martin.

The Bears lost 6-1 to Murray State in Kentucky on Saturday.

The Racers took all of the three doubles matches.

In singles play, senior Sasha Ruocco suffered her first defeat to freshman Verginie Tchakarova 6-2, 6-3.

Coach Jeff Borengasser thought that even with the loss, the girls played well against a strong team.

On Sunday morning, UCA came back strong against the UT Martin Skyhawks, winning 5-2.

The Bears came out ahead in the first two doubles matches.

Juniors Kelsey Williams and Allison Murphy defeated senior Katie McCall and freshman Sarah Candeloro 8-6 in doubles match one.

Juniors Cassidy Crawford and Kristina Horsikyan followed suit with an 8-2 win against freshman Hitomi Naito and senior Ivon Simic in the second doubles match.

“Our number two doubles team played quite well. [They] played really smart,” Borengasser said.

In Sunday’s singles play, the UCA girls won the first, third, fifth and sixth games.

Williams came from behind turning a score of 5-3 into a win against Candeloro, which Borengasser said “was a big momentum builder” for the team.

Ruocco took the fifth match with a 7-5, 6-2 score over Jessica Silva.

Sophomore Krizia Buck then clinched the win for UCA with a strong performance in the sixth game over opponent McCall.

“The match against Murray State was a tough one,” Williams said, “and I don’t think the scores were a true indication of how the matches went.”

Williams said if the Bears were to play Murray State again, the outcome might be different.

“Everyone fought really hard,” she said. “I think it’s safe to say we didn’t get along with Murray State very well, although Tennessee-Martin was a very fair team and enjoyable to play.”

In regard to the match against UT-Martin, Williams said that it seemed as though “everyone had some sort of fine in their stomach from the day before.”

The team did well as a whole and took down the Skyhawks.

“Cheering on and encouraging one another really goes a long way,” Williams said. “I think we all learned that we need to attack more, but we also realized that staying mentally strong and fighting for every point is important.”

“The matches this weekend are a great preparation for a difficult conference schedule,” Borengasser said. “Williams thinks that Sunday’s match was a special indicator of how capable the team is, and how far they are “willing to go to win.”

The Bears have three matches this week. On Feb. 18 the Bears hosted the University of Arkansas—Fort Smith Lady Lions at the UCA tennis courts.

This weekend, the Bears will hit the road and head to Grambling, La. for a long day of tennis, with two matches.

UCA will play the Alcorn State University Lady Braves at 9 a.m., then the Grambling State University Lady Tigers at 2 p.m. on Feb. 22.






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