April 10, 2014
BEAUMONT – Head coach David Wong considered Thursday’s match with Sam Houston State to be a must-win, and his Lamar women’s tennis team responded in kind, taking home a 4-3 victory over the visiting Bearkats at Thompson Family Tennis Center.
“It was a little too close for comfort, but we needed to get a win,” Wong said. “We had a chance to get the doubles point, but we came back in singles. I’ve seen a lot of improvement, but there are still some things that we need to work on. We’re working very hard to get into the Southland Tournament and be prepared to compete.”
With the win, LU improved to 3-5 in Southland play and 6-11 overall. SHSU dropped to 1-5 and 3-8, respectively.
After letting a tight doubles point slip away, four Lady Cardinals bounced back with straight-sets victories in singles to secure the match. Carolina Masó and Alicia Porte were dominating at the second and third positions, respectively. Masó snapped a four-match skid with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Imke Jagau, and Porte broke a five-match losing streak by beating Kayla Stevenson 6-2, 6-1. The duo was also impressive in doubles, beating the team of Jagau and Stevenson 8-3.
Anna Spengler kept up her recent form, winning a third straight match, defeating Isabella Costa 6-3, 6-4 on line six, and Dariya Dashutina won for a third time in four matches with a 7-5, 6-2 decision against Olivia Battye at the top spot.
In other singles matches, Natalie Petaia beat Katya Lapayeva 4-6, 7-6, 12-10, and Karen Martinez handed Hanna Elfving a 6-3, 6-4 loss.
Following the lone LU win in doubles, Battye and Martinez won 8-4 over the duo of Dashutina and Elfving. It all came down to Court 3, but Lapayeva and Spengler were unable to hold off a late charge by Costa and Petaia, falling 8-7.
LU will return to action on Sunday with a match against new Southland foe Abilene Christian at noon.