ABILENE, Texas – The Rattlers’ two-match losing streak was stomped in shutdown fashion as the St. Mary’s women’s tennis team picked up three straight victories this past weekend.
St. Mary’s (7-10, 2-3) three-match stay in Abilene, Texas turned victorious after losing to the hometown’s own nationally ranked Abilene Christian a day before.
The Rattlers came running both matches in Friday’s doubleheader against McMurry University, winning 8-1 before shutting down University of Southwest 9-0. The Rattlers transformed their two-game losing streak into a two-game closeout, winning their final match against Howard Payne 9-0 on Saturday to also close out the weekend with a trio of wins.
As only one point was allowed across all three matches, nearly every Lady Rattler went undefeated for the weekend. The only point granted to an opponent ended in retirement between Rattler Huong Huynh (Sr., Houston) and McMurry’s Chelsea Miller after a 3-6 set in Huynh’s favor and a 3-2 second set in Miller’s favor before the retirement that gave St. Mary’s the 8-1 victory. After setting off on the right serve over McMurry, the Rattlers’ dominant weekend was best seen through their second match over the University of Southwest.
The Rattlers proved to be un-gassed in the last half of their doubleheader Friday, striking a statement-making closeout over Southwest. All six Rattlers competing in singles triumphed their opponents 6-0 in the first set. Denissia Gonzalez (Fr., Houston), Anita Qureshi (So., San Antonio) and Mia Villasenor (So., La Feria, Texas) went the mile to sweep each contender 6-0 in their second sets as well. Valentine Lambrechts (Jr., Belgium), Angelique De Oliveira (Sr., Wattrelos, France) and Kelly Cooper (Sr., San Antonio) all defeated their opponents 6-1 in the final sets. Victories in all three doubles competitions finished the day with a 9-0 shutout.
Keeping a sweep mentality, the Rattlers repeated Friday’s performance in their last match Saturday over Howard Payne to win 9-0. All Rattlers in singles again experienced a closeout of 6-0 in at least one match with only one Howard Payne competitor scoring more than one point. Cooper picked up her match point by sweeping both sets 6-0, while she and doubles partner Gonzalez, and duo Lambrechts and Erica Carmona (Sr., Converse, Texas) each defeated their doubles competitions 8-1.
The stellar performance of the three-straight win weekend is St. Mary’s longest winning streak of the season and further acts as a confidence builder and preparation for the Heartland Conference tournament in late April.
The Rattlers hope to keep their streak alive in their last home match of the season Wednesday against Temple College at 1:30 p.m.