WKU Tennis wins three out of four matches in six-day period


Kennedy Gott

Taylor Shaw, redshirt sophomore and #5 singles seed, lost her match against UTC player Callie Billman on Sunday, February 27th, 2022. WKU Women’s Tennis won their match against UT Chattanooga overall 4-3.

Izzy Lanuza, Sports Reporter

The WKU Tennis Team (13-6) continued its 2022 spring campaign over the break, going 3-1 against Alabama Birmingham, Alabama State and Alabama A&M on the road before coming back to Bowling Green to play against Eastern Illinois. 

University of Alabama Birmingham

The Lady Toppers lost its first Conference USA match of the season 6-1 to the UAB Blazers on Monday, March 14. 

The Blazers took the early lead 1-0 after winning the doubles point on Courts Two and Three. This was the first doubles point in seven consecutive matches the Lady Toppers lost. UAB won three consecutive matches in singles play, giving the Blazers a 4-0 match lead and the dual match win. 


The final three matches were played out with the winner decided. The Blazers won on Courts One and Four, giving them the 6-0 advantage against the Lady Toppers. Redshirt sophomore Paola Cortez gave WKU a win with a super tiebreaker in the third set 6-7 (6), 6-2 and 10-4. UAB won 6-1. 

“I thought we competed very well in doubles today,” WKU head coach Greg Davis said in a press release. “They just came up with one more point here and there to take the doubles point. In singles, Paola had a very good win at three and Rachel [Hermanova] had a very tough three-set match with a very experienced player from UAB.”

Alabama State

The Lady Toppers got back on track with a 4-0 win against the Alabama State Hornets on Wednesday afternoon in Montgomery, Ala. 

WKU Tennis secured an early lead, winning the doubles point and giving them the 1-0 lead. 

No. 2 pair of redshirt senior Laura Bernardos and freshman Mariana Zegada clinched the first point by a score of 6-1. The No. 3 duo of freshman Sofia Blanco and sophomore Samantha Martinez swept their match on Court Three. The match on Court One went unfinished.

The Lady Toppers dominated singles play, winning three consecutive matches and securing their overall win. 

Bernardos won 6-0 and 6-1, only dropping one game in two sets at the No. 2 spot. She became the second Lady Topper to reach double digits this season after with her 10th win of the season. 

In the No. 6 spot, Martinez earned her second singles win of the year 6-2, 6-4. 

Cortez was the last to finish on Court Three, securing the victory for WKU winning 6-3, 6-2. The final three matches went unfinished with the match already decided 

“I thought we played very decisive in doubles, which was good to see,” Davis said in a press release. “In singles, we played very well in many of our first sets, which put a tremendous amount of pressure on Alabama State.”

Alabama A&M

WKU Tennis finished up its road trip with a win against the Alabama A&M Bulldogs 6-1 on Wednesday afternoon in Huntsville, Ala.

Once again, the Lady Toppers won the doubles point to secure the early lead. Blanco and Martinez swept their match on Court Three, while the No. 1 pair of redshirt junior Cora-Lynn von Dungern and Cortez secured the first point 6-1. Bernardos and Zegada’s match went unfinished on Court Two with a score of 5-2.

The Lady Toppers won five of their six matches during singles play. 

At the No. 6 spot, Blanco won 6-0, 6-1 while freshman Rachel Hermanova won at the No. 4 spot 6-2, 6-3, improving to a team-best 14-2 on the year. On Court Two, Bernardos claimed a victory after her opponent retired due to injury. She was ahead 6-2, 5-0 at the time of injury while the victory clinched a 4-0 win for the Hilltoppers. 

Cortez won in straight sets, winning her 10th singles match of the year. Martinez claimed a victory 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 5 spot. The Bulldogs secured the win on Court One after winning a super tiebreaker for the third set 7-6 (4), 2-6, 13-11 to give WKU a 6-1 win. 

“It was a good win today. I thought we played some of the best doubles of the year today,” Davis said in a press release. “In singles, we won five first sets which is very important when playing on the road.”

Eastern Illinois

Saturday afternoon WKU Tennis swept 7-0 the Eastern Illinois Panthers in Bowling Green. 

WKU secured another doubles point. Blanco and Martinez won their third match in a row 6-2. On Court One, Dungern and Cortez came away with a 6-2 victory, marking their 13th doubles win in 14 matches this season. 

Blanco was the first to finish, winning 6-1, 6-0, while Martinez played perfect through her match, winning 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 5 spot. This is her third singles win in a row, all in straight sets. 

Cortez clinched the win for WKU, winning 6-2, 6-2. Hermanova won in straight sets at the No. 3 spot, improving her overall record to 15-3. This is the first time a Lady Topper has won 15 singles matches in a season since Nina Kostava did in 2000-01. 

Sophomore Taylor Shaw won at No. 4 in straight sets, and Bernados was the last to finish playing at the No. 1 position. Her match went to super tiebreaker for the third set. They each needed more than 10 points to decide the tiebreaker with Bernados winning 6-2, 2-6 and 16-14. 

“I thought we played really well considering the conditions today,” Davis said in a press release. “It was cold, cloudy, a lot of wind. We talked about it coming in, whoever can manage the conditions the best, would end up being the victor. We played really well. We emphasized getting off to a good start in doubles. We also came out and won six first sets in singles, which set the tone for the rest of the match. [I’m] really happy with the performance of the team on a tough day, condition-wise.”

WKU will hit the road again next weekend to continue their spring campaign in Indianapolis, Ind. On Friday, the Lady Toppers will compete against Butler starting at 10 a.m before facing off against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday at 10 a.m.

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