WKU Tennis wins two out of three in weekend stretch, first time since 2017 Lady Toppers have won 10 games

Laura+Bernardos%2C+redshirt+senior+and+%232+singles+seed%2C+won+her+match+6-6+against+UTC+player+Jessie+Young+on+Sunday%2C+February+27th.+WKU+Women%E2%80%99s+Tennis+won+their+match+against+UT+Chattanooga+overall+4-3.+

Kennedy Gott

Laura Bernardos, redshirt senior and #2 singles seed, won her match 6-6 against UTC player Jessie Young on Sunday, February 27th. WKU Women’s Tennis won their match against UT Chattanooga overall 4-3.

Izzy Lanuza, Sports Reporter

WKU Tennis (10-4) secured two victories out of the three matches played against Austin Peay, SIU Edwardsville and Belmont in their home courts in Bowling Green over the weekend. This is the first time since the 2017 the Lady Toppers have reached 10 wins.  

Austin Peay Governors

The Lady Toppers lost to the Austin Peay Governors 4-3 on Friday night.

“Really, really tough match. This is our fourth 4-3 match of the year,” WKU head coach Greg Davis said in a press release. “I give credit to Austin Peay. They have always been a tough, worthy opponent. We have always kind of struggled in the past. This is the best match by far that we have played against them since I have been at Western [Kentucky]. They came out very intense in singles after we won the doubles point.”

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WKU started off by securing the doubles point and improving the team high to 8-1 in doubles this year. The No. 1 duo of redshirt junior Cora-Lynn von Dungern and redshirt sophomore Paola Cortez won their match 6-3. The Govenors responded by winning on court two 6-1. The No. 3 spot of freshman Sofia Blanco and sophomore Samantha Martinez won their match, giving WKU the early lead and clinching the first point for the Lady Toppers. 

In singles play, the Governors were able to tie the match at 1-1 after winning at the No. 4 spot 6-3 and 6-1. Freshman Rachel Hermanova reclaimed the lead for the Hilltoppers after winning 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 5 spot. She accomplished a team-high 10 singles win in 12 matches. 

The Govenors responded by winning back-to-back matches at the No.6 and No.3 spots, winning both in straight sets and taking the lead for the first time at 3-2. At the No.1 spot, Austin Peay won the match-clinching point win, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Redshirt senior Laura Bernardos finished winning 6-4 and 6-4, putting the final score at 4-3 in favor of Austin Peay. 

“We did a tremendous job in doubles,” Davis said. “This is the first time all year that we have won the doubles point but lost the match. We were 8-0 coming in after we have won the doubles point. They had to win four singles matches, and they came in here and did that.”

SIU Edwardsville Cougars

WKU Tennis defeated the undefeated SIU Edwardsville Cougars on Saturday afternoon with a 4-1 win.

For the fifth consecutive match, the Lady Toppers won the doubles point with the No. 3 duo of Blanco and Martinez, giving WKU the early edge after winning their match 6-1. The pair is undefeated this season, winning five consecutive doubles matches. 

The Cougars answered by winning 6-3 at the No. 2 spot. The No. 1 team of Dungern and Cortez gave WKU the early lead after winning a 7-6 (6)  tiebreaker, clinching the double point for the Lady Toppers. The Lady Toppers success continued into singles play with redshirt sophomore Taylor Shaw at the No. 5 spot in straight sets 6-1 and 6-2. 

SIU Edwardsville responded with a win at the No. 6 spot in straight sets for their first point of the match. Hermanova secured the victory for the Lady Toppers at the No. 5 spot, winning 6-4 and 6-4. The final two matches were not played out, making the final score 4-1. 

“I thought the team played well,” Davis said. “SIU Edwardsville was ranked 75 in the country in the previous poll last week and came in 9-0 on the season. I’m very proud of the team for responding after a very tough match on Friday.”

Belmont Bruins

WKU secured a 6-1 win against the Belmont Bruins Sunday afternoon, improving 10-4 on the year and getting to double-digit wins for the first time since 2017. 

The Lady Toppers secured the doubles point for the sixth-consecutive match. Dungern and Cortez won 6-2, winning their fifth-consecutive match and improving 10-1 on the year. The Bruins tied the score, but the Lady Toppers took the early lead after Bernardos and freshman Mariana Zegada claimed their first victory as a pair, winning 6-2. 

WKU went into singles play 1-0 before winning five of six singles matches to secure the victory over Belmont. 

Belmont won at the No. 5 spot in straight sets, evening the score 1-1. WKU took over after that with Hermanova winning her 12th consecutive match of the season, winning 6-1 and 6-4. Cortez won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 at the No. 3 spot before Blanco won her first singles match of her career at the No. 6 spot 6-4, 6-4. 

The final two matches were played out with the victory already secured for the Lady Toppers. Dungern got the fifth point for WKU, winning a super tiebreaker 10-6 at the No. 1 spot. Bernardos followed up with a thrilling three-set win at the No. 2 spot after dropping the opening set 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to bring the final score to 6-1 in favor of the Hilltoppers. 

“I thought we played really well,” Davis said. “If there is one match I thought would be our toughest of the weekend, I thought it was going to be with Belmont. After playing outdoors the last two days, coming in here indoors today against a tremendous team, it was just a great effort. What really helped us was that we got some good production from two of our doubles today. I also thought one through six we fought really hard today. This is the best I have had a team play in my four years here.”

WKU Tennis will continue their spring campaign next weekend in Bowling Green on March 12 with a match against Murray State at 1 p.m. with the location to be determined. 

Sports Reporter Izzy Lanuza can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @izzylanuza.