The Texas State women’s tennis team completed a strenuous four-match week, splitting the contests to come away with a 10-3 overall record.
The Bobcats defeated New Mexico State 6-1 Tuesday and defeated previously unbeaten in-conference Texas-Arlington 4-3 Saturday in a hard-fought battle.
“Overall, the weekend itself was exceptional,” Coach Tory Plunkett said. “Four matches in one week is tough. We beat UTA for the first time in 21 years. We beat Rice once in the match and that’s the first time that’s happened since I’ve been here.”
The victory against UTA came from a third-set tiebreaker between the Bobcats’ Francesca Bernes and the Mavericks’ Christine Foote. In the No. 6 match, Bernes dropped the first set 6-3 and won both the second 6-2 and the third 7-0.
Other Bobcat victories in the matchup with UTA included the No. 1 Jessica Kahts defeating Maria Martinez-Romer 6-3 and 6-3. Melissa Hadad defeated Verena Scott 6-4 and 6-4 in the No. 2 matchup.
“It was a very emotional win,” Plunkett said. “I don’t think people realize that UTA has been undefeated in the last three to four years in conference. The next step for us was to beat UTA, and we beat UTA.”
The victory over UTA was the first Texas State has experienced since 1991, and it gave the Bobcats an inside track to solidifying a top seed in the Southland Conference tournament. The only undefeated team sitting atop the SLC standings along with the Bobcats is Stephen F. Austin.
Texas State lost to two non-conference opponents, Rice and Houston. The Bobcats played at No. 23 Rice and managed one match victory, which has not happened in Plunkett’s reign.
The Bobcats, who were previously unbeaten in doubles, were swept by the Owls. Kahts and Hadad were undefeated through 10 matches before losing 8-1 against the No. 42 doubles team in the country.
Rachel Baldree earned the one and only Bobcat match victory defeating Rice’s Katie Gater in the No. 3 match 6-7(4-7), 7-5 and 10-3. Hadad fought hard against Dominique Harmath but ultimately dropped her matches 7-5 and 6-4.
Plunkett noticed her team’s fatigue mentally and physically starting to set not only after the hard-fought UTA match, but the entire week.
“We were sluggish in doubles against Houston due to an emotional match versus UTA,” Plunkett said. “I had to tell the team, ‘I have to see how tough you are, even after the UTA match.’”
Texas State fell to Houston 4-3 after dropping its second doubles point of the season. Kahts and Hadad lost, despite leading early in the match.
Houston then went on to capture the doubles point with a No. 2 match win. Baldree and Mariana Perez won the No. 3 matchup 9-8, avoiding the sweep.
“The next step for us is to win conference,” Plunkett said. “We will be working on that in the next few weeks, sustaining a higher level of intensity¬ — mentally and physically.”