UCA’s tennis team shined over spring break with two Southland Conference wins last weekend. The Bears (9-9, 2-6 SLC) defeated Sam Houston State University (3-7, 1-4 SLC) 6-1 in Huntsville, Texas on Friday, and traveled to Beaumont, Texas for a 5-2 win over the Lamar University Lady Cardinals (4-9, 1-4 SLC) on Saturday morning.
The Bears were victorious first in singles play against SHSU on Friday.
Rain led officials to start the match off with singles play. UCA won five of the six matches Friday.
Senior Simona Horsikyan won the No. 1 game 6-0, 6-2, and junior Kelsey Williams also took a 6-0, 6-2 win in the No. 2 game.
Junior Kristina Horsikyan rebounded in the No. 3 game after dropping the first set to win 1-6, 6-4, 10-6.
Junior Cassidy Crawford fell with a score of 6-1, 2-6, 12- 10 to SHSU’s sophomore Karen Martinez in the No. 4 game.
It was the only point of the day for the Bearkats.
Sophomore Krizia Buck won 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 5 game.
The Bearkats lost the No. 6 game by default following sophomore Bianca Strukelj’s.
Coach Jeff Borengasser said that his team played really strongly at all positions.
“Simona, Kelsey and Krizia won in straight sets,” he said. “Kristina and Cassidy started off slowly, but both did a great job in their second sets and came from behind.”
Though Crawford lost in three sets, Borengasser said that both her and Kristina Horsikyan’s good play carried into the match against Lamar the next day.
UCA took the lead against SHSU in doubles play, winning two of the three doubles matches.
Kristina Horsikyan and Williams, who made up the No. 1 game doubles game, scored an 8-5 win over the Bearkats.
Simona Horsikyan and Crawford fell to the Bearkats in the No. 2 game, and Buck and senior Sasha Ruocco won the number three game by default as Sam Houston was not able to come up with team due to injuries.
“Our No. 1 doubles team got a really good win against the Bearkats to clinch the double point, and they also carried their strong play into the Lamar match where they beat a good team by a dominant margin of 8-1 to again clinch the doubles point,” Borengasser said.
“They played very smart and tough all weekend to help carry our doubles lineup.”
The Bears moved to an SLC record of 2-6 on Saturday when the women defeated the Lamar Lady Cardinals
In the doubles competition, Kristina Horsikyan and doubles partner Williams earned an 8-1 win in the No. 1 game.
Buck and Ruocco took the No. 3 game 8-4.
Simona Horsikyan and Crawford played the No. 2 game but the game went unfinished.
Borengasser said Williams had a great weekend as she she was 2-0 in singles and doubles.
Williams said she was proud of the team for its success this weekend, calling it a “massive team effort.”
“Everyone was ecstatic and Coach [Borengasser] was extremely pleased,” she said.
“It was a very long week and we had some very hot weather but everyone fought through the adversity and we came through with a couple wins.”
UCA won four of the six singles games to take the win.
In the No. 1 game, Simona Horsikyan fell to Senior Dariya Dashutina 5-7, 6-3, 10-5.
Williams took the No. 2 game 7-5, 6-3 and Kristina Horsikyan took her No. 3 game with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
Crawford earned a 6-1, 6-0 win in the fourth game.
SHSU Freshman Katya Lapayeva took the fifth game with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Buck.
Strukelj dropped her first set in the sixth game but reclaimed the lead with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win.
Williams said these two matches prove what the team is capable of.
“It was exciting to finish off a long week of tennis with two big conference wins,” Borengasser said. “All credit goes to our whole team for playing tough through the ups and downs of the season as well as various injuries and illnesses. Everyone is competing their hardest, training hard and working as a team.”
Borengasser said the key for the team now is to build on the success last weekend and finish the season strong.
On Sunday the team will play Oral Roberts University at 8:30 a.m. in Tulsa, Okla.