TENNIS TEAMS CHASE SLC TOURNAMENT TITLES THIS WEEKEND
April 24, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington men's and women's tennis teams will try to bring home the hardware at the 2007 Southland Conference Tournament, starting Friday at Stephen F. Austin's Schlief Tennis Complex in Nacogdoches.
The men's team is seeded second and earned a bye into Saturday's 1 p.m. semifinal match against either No. 3 seed UT San Antonio (10-11, 3-3 SLC) or No. 6 Nicholls State (12-7, 2-4). The Mavericks (9-12, 4-2) defeated the Roadrunners 4-3 on March 21, but lost 6-1 to the Colonels on Feb. 4.
Freshman Brieuc Hamon has had a strong debut season, compiling a team-leading 12-8 record in singles that includes a perfect 5-0 mark at No. 4 singles in league play. Other top competitors include freshman David Costa, a two-time SLC Player of the Week, at No. 1 singles and sophomore Gonzalo Bienzobas at No. 5. Both were 4-2 in conference singles action.
UTA will be playing for the opportunity to advance to the championship match at 3 p.m. Sunday. The SLC tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney. The Mavericks have won seven conference tournament championships, most recently in 2006. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (12-5, 6-0) is the No. 1 seed in the men's bracket.
The UTA women's team finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in the regular-season standings, but drew the No. 7 seed for the conference tournament. The Mavericks (7-11, 6-5) have a tough quarterfinal test Friday at 9:30 a.m. against No. 2 Lamar (19-2, 10-1). The Cardinals swept the Mavs 7-0 on March 7.
Injuries have plagued UTA all season, with only three players staying healthy enough to compete in all 11 conference matches.
Individually, freshman Monika Hadvigerova led the Mavericks with a 15-6 overall mark in singles play and a spectacular 10-1 record in the Southland Conference. Others with a winning record in league action were freshman Daiana Negreanu (7-3) and sophomore Klara Jagosova (6-5).
In doubles competition, Negreanu and junior Sara Pesic were 5-1 as the No. 2 tandem and Hadvigerova and Jagosova were 6-3 in the No. 1 slot.
The winner of Friday morning's match advances to face either No. 3 seed Northwestern State (15-7, 9-2) or No. 6 Sam Houston State (7-13, 6-5) in the semifinals on Saturday at 10 a.m.