TENNIS: Toppers lose in weekend struggle

Jason Stamm

Both Western’s men’s and women’s tennis teams had their struggles on the court last weekend as both came up on the losing end at Lipscomb and Morehead State.

The Lady Toppers fell to Lipscomb 5-2 on Saturday, ending their nine-match win streak. After dropping doubles, Western’s only singles wins came from Karina Ledaja at No. 1 (6-1, 6-1) and Olga Kosaka at No. 2 (6-7, 6-0, 6-0).

On Sunday, the Lady Toppers again came up on the losing end, falling to Morehead State 5-1. The No. 1 pairing of Ledaja and Ieva Balcus ended their perfect season against the Lady Eagles, falling 8-5. Ledaja managed to keep her singles winning streak alive, however, as she cruised to a 6-3, 7-6 win. Ledaja’s win streak is alive at 12.

“Karina and Ieva just got off to a slow start and were really close to getting back in,” coach Jeff True said. “They definitely tried to keep it going, but the pairing they played was probably the best they’ve played this year.”

The men’s side didn’t fare any better as they fell to Lipscomb on Saturday 4-3. Western got off to a good start with wins by the tandems of Stan Rabinovics and Mikkus Paipars at No. 1 and Franco Serra and Ryan Durham at No. 2 to take the doubles point.

Western struggled in singles play however as its only wins came from Rabinovics and Serra.

“I thought we actually improved in doubles,” Serra said. “In singles, I did good in the first set, but I just got nervous and couldn’t close out the second set.”

On Sunday, the Toppers didn’t fare much better, as they were shutout at Morehead State 4-0. Western picked up an 8-6 win from the Rabinovics/Paipars combo but little else went well for the Toppers.

“It was definitely a disappointing weekend, especially with matches that you feel like you have a chance to win,” True said. “We didn’t drop off, we just caught MSU on a good day.”

Western’s men’s and women’s teams will both be in action at 2 p.m. tomorrow for a midweek showdown at Austin Peay. The Lady Toppers will faceoff at Belmont at 2 p.m. on Friday before both teams travel to Cumberland on Sunday.

“We need a couple more Ws,” Rabinovics said. “It’ll throw us off a bit having a match in the middle of the week, but hopefully we can take doubles and pull out a couple of matches.”

Reach Jason Stamm at [email protected].