UTA women’s, men’s tennis teams dominate the court against Louisiana-Lafayette, Lamar

Junior Nanaka Takeuchi hits a return during a doubles match against Tarleton State University on Feb. 6 at the UTA Tennis Center. 

The women’s and men’s tennis teams were back on the courts at UTA Tennis Center on Saturday.

The women’s tennis team (8-1, 2-0) was coming off their first loss against Southern Methodist University on Wednesday and looked to bounce back against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

The men’s tennis team (3-5) earned their second victory of the season after defeating Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Wednesday and looked to create a streak against Lamar University.

UTA 4, Cajuns 0 (women’s)

With the sour taste of a loss in their mouths, the women’s team had the opportunity to move on, and that's exactly what they did. UTA got back to their winning ways after defeating the Ragin’ Cajuns 4-0 on Saturday.

It wasn’t a clean sweep of the Ragin’ Cajuns in doubles, but the Mavericks showed their dominance going 2-1 enroute to collecting the doubles point.

“When you play conference matches, it comes with a little bit of an extra pressure,” head coach Diego Benitez said. “I was very pleased with the fact, how we played doubles.”

In the first doubles position, freshman Polina Akimova and junior Nanaka Takeuchi lost their second doubles match in a row, this time 6-2, putting UTA in a position where they trailed 1-0.

In the third doubles position, freshman Bruna Casasampere and junior Lucia Natal earned their first doubles win together, winning their set 6-3.

It came down to a pivotal match in the second doubles position, with the Mavericks coming out on top as the duo of juniors Carla Pons and Almudena Boza won 6-2, improving their doubles record to 7-0 on the season.

In singles matches, UTA swept the Ragin’ Cajuns as they went on to win their second conference match of the season.

Pons got the first single point of the day for UTA, winning 6-2, and 6-4, while Akimova won her singles match in tough fashion, winning 6-2, and 6-4.

By that point UTA had three singles matches past the third set, only needing to win one more to take the match. Natal lifted the Mavericks to the 3-0 sweep of the Ragin’ Cajuns after winning her singles match 6-2, 6-4 in straight sets.

UTA 4, Lamar 0 (men’s)

Prior to Saturday’s match against the Cardinals, the men’s tennis team had not won two matches in a row all season.

UTA was on the right track to get the streak started after the team defeated Lamar 2-1 in the doubles portion of the match. Freshmen Solano Caffarena and Nick Beamish won their second doubles match in a row after winning 6-2.

In number one doubles, senior Alejandro Hayen and freshman Alan Sau Franco got their third win together, winning 6-4.

“I’m very happy with the team’s performance. Lamar is always a tricky opponent, we have had long battles and big battles with them historically,” Benitez said. “We are getting to the level that we need to be for conference matches.”

Going into singles, the Mavericks kept that winning spirit alive, winning 3-0 to cap off the day.

Hayen was the first Maverick to win his match, taking the number three position and winning 6-3, 6-1 in straight sets.

In the number one singles position, freshman Angel Diaz won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, while Sau Franco fought for the Mavericks’ final point, winning his match in straight sets as well 6-1, 6-4.

“Angel played one of the best matches he has played this year,” Benitez said. “Angel played very very clean, very smart, very intelligent and with a very strong mind.”

The women’s tennis team will be back in action at 10 a.m. Tuesday against the University of Louisiana-Monroe at UTA Tennis Center.

While the men’s team will be back on the courts at 10 a.m. Wednesday to play against UT-Permian Basin in the first match of a doubleheader at UTA Tennis Center.

@ed_t0var

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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