Women’s tennis: Utah splits matches over the weekend in Texas

The Utah women’s tennis team had a couple of matches in Lubbock, Texas over the weekend, going up against Memphis and 26th-ranked Texas Tech on Friday and Saturday respectively. Utah was able to get its first team win in the match over the Tigers, winning by a score of 4-2.

However, the Utes could not follow up their strong performance the following day as they fell to the Raiders 4-0.

Though getting the first victory was a big deal for the athletes on the team, they left Texas hoping for a little bit more.

“We didn’t play great, but we competed well,” Utah head coach Mat Iandolo said.

Utah’s performance against Memphis from day one is the one it wants to build off of, as it showed resiliency and its never-die attitude to battle back for the victory. But the match didn’t exactly start the way the Utes imagined.

The doubles pair of Jena Cheng and Elena Najera-Salas was the only Utah duo to come away with a doubles win, winning their match 6-0.

“We just went out there aggressive, like our coach wanted us to,” Cheng said of her doubles performance.

The Utes were very close to getting the team point from doubles, but ultimately fell short. Utah’s Sarah Richter and Luisa Gerstner da Rosa lost by a score of 7-6 in a close match against the Tigers’ Liza Tymchenko and Kathryn Hughes. After dropping the third slot in doubles play, the Utes surrendered that point to Memphis and were down early.

But according to Cheng, there was no doubt the Utes would turn things around.

“We knew we could come back from being down 1-0,” Cheng said.

Richter, was one of the athletes that helped bring Utah back, winning her singles match against Tymchenko with scores of 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, revenging her earlier loss in doubles play. Following Richter, it was Gerstner da Rosa’s turn and she only needed two sets to beat Hughes, defeating her 6-4, 6-4. The revenge was complete.

Alexia Petrovic and Margo Pletcher each won their singles matches to seal the win for the Utes.

The Utah team showed heart in this match, and it was good for the athletes to see their hard work pay off in the form of a win.

“The first win is always the hardest to come by,” Iandolo said.

Unfortunately for the Utes, their second match was a little more difficult, having to go against a ranked opponent in Texas Tech.

Whether the Utes were a little high after their win the day before, or whether the Raiders were just the better team is up for debate, but Texas Tech was clearly the superior team on the court that day. The Utes could not force a third set in any of their singles play matches, as the Raiders were not about to be embarrassed in their house.

“They just had really good energy and were ready right off the bat,” Cheng said.

Utah will travel back to the Lone Star State this weekend when it takes on Houston.

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