Lady Toppers get win over Cincinnati, fall to Middle Tennessee

Sophomore Natalia De Ugarte competes in a match against East Tennessee State on April 13, 2017 at the WKU tennis courts. On Sunday De Ugarte and her sophomore doubles partner Cindy Oest fell 6-2 to a Middle Tennessee State University pair.

Jeremy Chisenhall

The WKU tennis team split its weekend matchups, defeating University of Cincinnati before falling to Conference USA rival Middle Tennessee State University.

The Lady Toppers started the weekend at UC on Friday, where they won four singles matches. Freshman Moka Ito defeated UC’s Ioana Guna in straight sets. Senior Elpida Malamou also won her singles match in straight sets, defeating Alexia Coutino. Senior Violetta Shatalova was able to battle back after dropping her first set against UC’s Caroline Morton, picking up wins in the next two sets to get WKU its third singles win of the day.

Sophomore Cindy Oest picked up the last singles win of the day, coming back from down 1-0 to defeat UC’s Anna Philp in three sets. Sophomores Monica Malinen and  Natalia De Ugarte each dropped their singles matches in straight sets. The Lady Toppers won 4 of 6 singles matches.

WKU lost the doubles matchup, dropping two of the three matches to the Bearcats. The tandem of Ito and Malinen were the only pair to pick up a win for the Lady Toppers.

The Lady Toppers moved to 8-3 on the year with the win. The loss dropped UC’s record to 8-8.

WKU continued its weekend slate on Sunday at MTSU. The Lady Toppers won two of the three doubles matches, as Ito and Malinen won their doubles match 6-4. Malamou and Shatalova also picked up doubles, a win for WKU in a highly-contested match.

WKU dropped four of its six singles matches to the Blue Raiders. Ito defeated MTSU’s Josefina Zehnder in straight sets, and Malamou defeated Costanza Magazzini in straight sets as well. Shatalova, De Ugarte, Malinen and Oest each dropped their singles matches. The losses were highly competitive, as all four of the them went to three sets before being decided.

MTSU has won 17 of the last 18 meetings between the two sides, and the Blue Raiders have a 25-12 record against the Lady Toppers in the all-time series.

The loss moved the Lady Toppers to 8-4 (2-1 Conference USA) this season. They’ll take on University of Tennessee on Friday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Sports Editor Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.