Women’s tennis opens conference play with pair of losses


Julia Maenius

Aleksandra Zlatarova fires a serve over the net during a match earlier this season. Zlatarova is currently 3-2 in singles play this season and was named second team All-Conference USA in doubles last season and is 3-2 in doubles this season.

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (1-5, 0-2 C-USA), returned to action this week after having their matchups the week prior postponed due to freezing temperatures, leading to unsafe travel conditions. This week, the ‘Runners took on the University of North Texas Mean Green (5-1, 1-0 C-USA) and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (6-5, 1-1 C-USA). The matches marked the team’s first conference matches of the season, but they did not come out on the winning end of them.

Things got started on Friday afternoon in Denton, and North Texas seized the momentum early on in doubles play. UTSA’s pair of Aleksandra Zlatarova and Alexandra Weir dropped the opening doubles match 3-6 to the team of Jasmine Adams and Lucie Devier. Directly afterward, Jasmin Starr and Stanislava Bobrovnikova were unable to tie things up as they dropped their match to Saki Oyama and Liisa Vehvilainen in a clean 0-6 sweep to give North Texas the doubles point. After Weir forfeited her match in singles play, North Texas went up in the match 0-2 and looked poised to finish things off early. That is exactly what happened as Oyama dispatched Bobrovnikova 0-6, 2-6 and North Texas’ Maria Ponomareva saw off Eva Beyebach 1-6, 0-6 to hand North Texas a quick 0-4 match win. 

‘The ‘Runners returned to the court the following day to take on the Blue Raiders. In doubles play Zlatarova and Weir lost a close one to the Blue Raiders’ Lee Barnard and Noelle Mauro 7-6 (7-5). UTSA’s Jasmin Starr and Sophie Omoworare struck back though, defeating Zani Barnard and Eloise Swarbrick 7-5 to tie things up. However, it was not to be for UTSA, as the team of Bobrovnikova and Beyebach dropped the deciding doubles match to Lilly-Sophie Schmidt and Love-Star Alexis 6-2, handing Middle Tennessee the early advantage. 

In singles play, Zlatarova quickly tied things up in the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win over L. Barnard. The ‘Runners were unable to sustain the momentum, however, as they dropped the next three singles matches to lose the overall match. Z. Barnard dispatched Bobrovnikova 6-4, 6-1, Mauro defeated Beyebach 6-3, 6-4 and Schmidt closed things out with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Omoworare. 

The team will return to the court this week with a pair of matches on the road in Natchitoches, La., against Northwestern State (4-2) on Feb. 18, and Southern Miss. (4-0, 0-0 C-USA) on Feb. 19.