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WKU Tennis wraps up play at Samford Round Robin

Arthur H. Trickett-Wile
Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers redshirt sophomore Paola Cortez backhands the ball to Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis Jaguars redshirt senior Meghan Bernard on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, at Michael O. Buchanon Park’s tennis facility. WKU won the match 7-0.

WKU Tennis competed at the Samford Round Robin Oct. 13-15 in Birmingham, Alabama. After a slower start to the weekend, the Lady Toppers saw improvement throughout the tournament, according to Head Coach Greg Davis.

The three-day event took place at the Samford Tennis Center. The Tops started well in doubles, claiming three of their four matches on both Friday and Saturday.

However, a tough Friday in singles brought the Lady Toppers only two victories in their eight attempts.

On Friday, in doubles, it was junior Sofia Blanco and senior Samantha Martinez who defeated UAB 6-3 in their doubles set. Followed by junior Rachel Hermanova and redshirt junior Sayda Hernandez winning 7-6, and senior Sunskrithi Damera and junior Mariana Zegada bringing home a 6-4 victory. 

In singles, it was Damera and Hermanova who brought home victory for the Hilltoppers on Day one.

“Started off today in doubles and played very well against some tough competition,” Davis said. “In the afternoon matches, we were less competitive than we would have liked.”

On Day two of the Round Robin, the Tops came out with a vengeance during their singles matches. 

Senior Paola Cortez, Hermanova, Hernandez, and Martinez all claimed victory in their singles matches. 

Blanco and Martinez brought down South Alabama in their doubles match, followed by Hermanova and Hernandez. 

“I thought we played really good tennis today,” Davis said. “Doubles was very good for the second straight day and our singles was much improved.”

Moving onto the final day of the Round Robin, WKU continued their dominant doubles performance.

On Sunday, Cortez and senior Anna-Marie Kopecka, Blanco and Martinez, and Damera and Zegada all took their final doubles victories of the weekend. 

Cortez and Hermanova also picked up singles victories in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. 

“I would say this was a big improvement on Day 3. Winning three of four in doubles, getting wins at 1 and 2 against South Alabama, and being competitive in every other match – it was good to see that much improvement from our first tournament.”

You can catch WKU at the Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas from Nov. 3-5, when they wrap up their fall slate.

Sports Reporter Luke Edmonds can be reached at [email protected]

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