Tennis adds two SLC wins at home

Southeastern earned a pair of Southland Conference wins last Saturday in a match against the University of Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts University. Southeastern earned a 4-2 victory  in their first match over UCA. Later on Saturday night, in competition originally set for Sunday morning, the Lady Lions earned a 6-0 victory against ORU. Both contests were held at the Southeastern Tennis Complex.

After a weather delay of approximately four hours, Southeastern began its contest against UCA. The Lions fared well against their conference opponents, earning victories in the top four courts versus Central Arkansas.

Sophomore Reginka Nychytailova was able to win in straight sets, defeating UCA’s Cassidy Crawford, 6-1, 6-2. Southeastern grabbed another win on straight sets following sophomore Renee Villarreal’s victory over  Simona Horsikyan, 6-2, 6-2.

“I was out of focus especially because I don’t like to start with singles, but as I began playing I told myself that I couldn’t do anything about it. I concentrated on what I had to do,” said Villarreal.

This worked for Villarreal, as she won both of her matches Saturday to improve to 8-1 on the season and remained undefeated in conference play.

Two more players from the Southeastern squad secured wins against UCA. Sophomore Nastya Tokareva defeated Kelsey Williams in a closely contested match while senior Valya Rusakova earned a win to settle a rivalry with UCA’s Kristina Horsikyan.

“This match was a sort of revenge for me,” said Rusakova. “Last year I lost to this girl in three sets, and this year when I won the first set, and lost the second, I told myself that I won’t leave the court until I win.”

The day was not over following victory over UCA. Southeastern’s match against ORU was moved from Sunday morning to Saturday night due to weather and travel concerns. This meant a second match for some players.

“It is always hard to play two matches in the same day. It was tougher yesterday [Saturday] because playing a doubleheader was unexpected. However, we did our best to adapt and get in the court and do what we were supposed to do,” said Villarreal, who played multiple matches Saturday. Adapting is exactly what the Lions had to do as they swept ORU 6-0 to advance to 4-1 in conference play.

Southeastern’s next game will be against Rutgers on Tuesday, March 18 at 2 p.m.