San Antonio – The Rattlers picked up their first two Heartland Conference victories of the season in a three-match stretch on their own turf, allowing their one loss to keep them at the respectable .500 mark.
The St. Mary’s women’s tennis team (4-8, 2-3) stormed the University of Texas – Permian Basin in an 8-1 victory last Saturday. The singles competitions were hardly close as Valentine Lambrechts (Jr., Belgium), this week’s Heartland Conference Player of the Week, charged for a 6-1, 6-1 win with Kelly Cooper (Sr., San Antonio) following her lead in another 6-1, 6-1 victory. The duo kept their opponents to just one point once more, defeating O. Baltzar and Y. Sanchez 8-1 in doubles. Angelique De Oliveira (Sr., Wattrelos, France) and Huong Huynh (Sr., Houston) paired up to shut down their own doubles competition in an 8-0 victory after De Oliveira finished defeating her singles match 6-1, 6-3. The Falcons’ lone point didn’t come easy with M. Jupe fighting in a three-set battle to fall 7-5, 3-6, 12-7.
The tables were flipped on the Rattlers two days later as they lost to Cameron University 8-1 after their own 8-1 victory over the Falcons. Tag-team freshman Denissia Gonzalez (Houston) and senior Erica Carmona (Converse, Texas) set their contrasting ages to their advantage, defeating Elivia Sholles and Florencia Tornero 8-6 for the only Rattler point of the day. De Oliveira and Huynh nearly missed another doubles victory, falling to a close 8-6 defeat.
St. Mary’s went back to its winning ways Tuesday, shoveling in their second conference victory in a 6-3 win over Newman University. De Oliveira and Huynh denied J. Brown and E. Gerber any chance for a win, defeating the pair in a statement 8-1 match point. De Oliveira picked up a battle in singles in a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 win, while Lambrechts fought in the same, extra-set manner but fell 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Gonzalez also followed her teammates in extra play, defeating C. Dold 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Elisha Bryant (Jr., Plano, Texas) swung for a 6-1, 6-2 win, looking familiar to Cooper who had a 6-2, 6-1 victory. Huynh closed out the match in a 6-1, 6-1 triumph for the Rattlers’ 6-3 win over the Jets.
St. Mary’s wrapped up conference play as the No. 3 seed, having half of its total victories for the season coming from conference victories.
The Rattlers will continue their five-match home stay this Friday against Florida Southern College on the St. Mary’s Tennis Courts at 2 p.m.