The Bobcat tennis team was only able to get in one of its two scheduled home games this weekend. This resulted in a loss to highly-ranked, Southland Conference-leading Stephen F. Austin.
SFA was ranked No. 41 in the country coming into the match and had monumental victories. This included a sweep of Louisiana Tech, a victory at Tulane and a conference win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who beat the Bobcats in March.
“We competed wel–I think SFA is a really good team,” Coach Tory Plunkett said. “I believe they played amazing, and I knew that after seeing what they were able to do against some of the other teams in conference, and some of their big wins this season.”
Texas State came up empty in a 7-0 loss Friday, which was crucial for SLC standings going into the conference tournament.
“We have to continue to fight and play hard,” Plunkett said. “You never know when someone may be over-thinking the match. Every play there is an opportunity for the other team to over-think what they are doing, and they may not play as well.”
SFA was able to capture the doubles point early on, taking two of three against the Bobcats, then winning every singles match. In five of their six losses, the Bobcats lost the doubles point, excluding their contest with TCU in January.
The Bobcats did score one minor victory in their doubles competition when Rachel Baldree and Mariana Perez defeated SFA’s Elena Kordolaimi and Laura Servise 8-6 in the No. 3 match.
The No. 1 match, Jessica Kahts and Melissa Hadad, were facing one of the better pairings they have faced all season. Tereza Bekerova and Malena Gordo are 15-4 on the season, and the final score was 8-3.
In the No. 2 match, Jithmie Jayawickrema and Alina Shazhko defeated Berenice Van den Bergh and Gabriella Rojas 8-6.
A majority of the singles matches were close, but only one came down to a third set. In the No. 2 match, Melissa Hadad was defeated by SFA’s Alina Shazhko 6-4, 4-6, 10-6. Although the No. 4 and 5 matches did not go to a third set, they were still two of the more competitive pairings of the day.
Malena Gordo defeated Gabriela Rojas in the No. 4 match by a final of 6-4, 6-3. In the No. 5 match, the resulting score was the exact same as Antoinia Kolovou defeated Mariana Perez.
The match scheduled for Sunday against Sam Houston State was suspended due to rain. The Bobcats completed doubles with a victory, sweeping all three of them and gaining the team point. The singles matches were started but not finished. Roughly only one set was played in every matchup.
“The suspended game actually works well in both ways,” Plunkett said. “We did get off to a good start by winning the doubles point, but now we also be able to get rest and our rest by continuing the match at a later date.”
The game with SHSU will be played this Saturday, most likely, with no exact time yet determined. The match will complete the regular season for the Bobcats and they will have a week to prepare for their conference tournament. The tournament starts April 26.