San Antonio – The Rattlers trekked on a three-match road trip last weekend to find themselves out of gas after their first win, losing their next two, but saw streaks of victory.
St. Mary’s (2-7, 0-3 in conference) came out ready to play against Collin County Community College as its first stop in the three-match weekend.
Former Heartland Conference Player of the Week Elisha Bryant (Jr., Plano, Texas) defeated Jenny Cecotti for a 6-2, 6-1 win, and St. Mary’s most recent Player of the Week, Valentine Lambrechts (Jr., Belgium), teamed up with Kelly Cooper (Sr., Sa Antonio) for an 8-5 doubles victory.
Angelique De Oliveira (Sr., Wattrelos, France) swept her competitors, winning her singles match 6-2, 6-3 as well as her doubles competition with fellow Rattler Huong Huynh, 9-8 (7-5). Huynh (Sr., Houston) also experienced a sweep, winning her singles match 6-2, 6-2. The Rattlers’ 5-4 triumph over Collin County Community College gave them their second win of the spring season and confidence for their next two matches.
But St. Mary’s needed more than confidence to overtake back-to-back conference matches.
The Rattlers didn’t give their second contender, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, an easy win, however. The second match of the three-match trip saw fire out of freshman Denissia Gonzalez (Houston). Gonzalez defeated Stanka Harvanova in a four-set battle, showing her strong arm and stamina for the 7-6, (7-2), 2-6, 6-1 victory. De Oliveira seemed to like the feeling of her sweep in the previous match over Collin County Community College as she did it again with Arkansas-Fort Smith. De Oliveira defeated Abby Whittemore without giving her a chance to come back in a 6-3, 6-2 victory in singles, and teamed up with Huynh for another doubles win for the pair in an 8-3 match point.
But the victories of a few willed Rattlers weren’t enough to overturn Arkansas-Fort Smith, falling 5-3.
Perhaps still feeling the sting of their second conference loss of the season, the Rattlers experienced their third against Dallas Baptist in an 8-1 upset for the final match of their three-game road trip.
But the sting didn’t affect the winning duo of De Oliveira and Huynh.
The pair of Rattlers wanted to keep their undefeated doubles streak for the weekend, topping Dallas Baptist for St. Mary’s only point of the day. De Oliveira and Huynh swung with a unison vision of a win, upsetting L. Smith and L. Yeado in an 8-4 victory. Huynh fought for a sweep, going four sets in her singles competition but didn’t experience another victory, falling to Smith 7-6, (7-2), 5-7, 6-3.
Cooper and Lambrechts also went into extra sets gearing for a win, but fell 7-6, (7-2), 7-5 and 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, respectively, to end the day 8-1.
Despite its 1-2 trip, St. Mary’s saw success in several Rattlers that will go beyond the losses and extend into the rest of the season.
St. Mary’s has a chance for redemption in conference play, facing the University of Texas-Permian Basin next Sat., March 17 at 3:30 p.m. at the St. Mary’s Tennis Courts.