Women’s tennis wins three in a row, men’s tennis drops match against Rice


Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA women’s (4-15) and men’s (10-11) tennis teams were both in action on the courts this week at home. After being mired in a 12-match losing streak for much of the year, the women’s team enjoyed a sharp turnaround in form, winning their last three matches in the month of April. Meanwhile, on the men’s side, the team lost their fourth match in their last five and are sliding back with the conference tournament quickly approaching. 

Starting with the women, the team took on the Prairie View A&M Panthers (7-17) on Sunday, April 3, and the team got off to a strong start. The Roadrunners won all three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead early in the match. Two withdrawals in singles play put the ‘Runners down 1-2, but the team did not blink. The ‘Runners reeled off four straight wins in singles play, all of them in straight sets, to roll out a 5-2 overall match win and their first victory in over two months. 

The team kept that newfound positive momentum going against the New Mexico State Aggies (6-14) on Friday, April 8. The team did not manage to win the doubles point in this match, dropping it two games to one and falling into an early 0-1 hole. In singles play, however, the team roared back to life. Another forfeit by UTSA put the team down 0-2, but it was all Roadrunners from there. The team reeled off five straight singles wins to propel themselves to a 5-2 match win and their second straight victory.

In their final game of the week on Sunday, April 10, the team found itself in an absolute battle against the Lamar University Cardinals (10-10). UTSA was down early in the overall match after losing the doubles point and suffering another forfeit in singles play, but the team responded in a big way. Aleksandra Zlatarova defeated Elena Tairyan 6-1, 6-0 to put the ‘Runners on the board then Jasmin Starr defeated Ana Jolic 6-2, 6-2 to tie the overall match up at 2-2. Stanislava Bobrovnikova lost to Alba Perez 4-6, 4-6 to put the Cardinals on match point, but the ‘Runners fought back. Eva Beyebach defeated Elena Rubio to level the match score at 3-3 and make the matchup between Alexandra Weir and Noelia Lorca a winner-takes-all affair. Lorca took the first set 6-7, but Weir came sweeping back to take set two 6-1 and then finished Lorca off with another dominant 6-1 third set victory to win the match 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 and give UTSA their third straight victory. 

Meanwhile, the men took on the Rice Owls (11-11) on Saturday, April 9, and came up on the wrong end of some close matches. First, in doubles play the ‘Runners dropped two straight games to lose the point and go down 0-1. Then in the singles competition, Joao Ceolin lost a close game to Haoyuan Huang 6-1, 2-6, 4-6 to put UTSA in a 0-2 hole. Tiago Torres got a point back for UTSA by dispatching Sumit Sarkar 7-6, 7-5 but Rice reestablished their two-point advantage when Emir Sendogan defeated UTSA’s Sebastian Rodriguez 6-7, 4-6. Javier Gonzalez got the ‘Runners back within one point when he defeated Campbell Salmon 6-3, 6-0. However, it was not enough, as Garret Skelly lost a close match to Trinity Great 7-6 (3-0), 3-6, 2-6 and Rice closed out the overall match with a 2-4 victory. 

Both teams will remain active this coming week for their final games before the conference tournament. The men’s team will travel to Beaumont, Texas, to take on the Lamar University Cardinals (15-6) on Saturday, April 16. The women’s team will be on the road for two games this week. First, they will head to Fort Worth, Texas, to square off against TCU (11-12) on Friday, April 15. Then they will head to Arlington, Texas, for a match against UT Arlington (20-2).