Tennis has early success

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Tennis has early success

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The men and women’s tennis teams are an unstoppable force this fall.

With seven returners for the men and four for the women, the Billikens are counting on their veterans to continue their success.  The men bring one newcomer as the women add three to their roster.  Junior Aspen Cervin  was named to the 2015 All-Conference first team, and senior Kelsey King was named to the 2015 All-Conference second team, leading the women into the offseason.

The Billikens started the year off at home in the Billiken Classic on Aug. 28 and 29.  The men hosted UMSL and Quincy, and the women welcomed UMSL, Quincy and Southeast Missouri.  The men posted a 22-5 record overall, singles and doubles total.  Sophomores John Nogalski and Brandon Harris went 3-0 in singles.  The Billikens only gave up one loss in doubles.

The women pushed the standard even higher with a perfect 30-0 record.  The Billikens only dropped three sets throughout the tournament.

The women crossed the river to take on SIUE, Eastern Illinois and the University of Evansville in Edwardsville, Illinois on Sept. 11 and 12.  They returned victorious, winning five of eight flights at the SIUE Fall Invitational.  Freshman Eleonore Tchakarova took Flight 2 with a record of 2-0.  King won the fifth flight 3-0.  Fellow senior Natalia Yacaman followed suit to take Flight 6.  The dynamic duo, Tchakarova and Verginie Tchakarova won the first flight of doubles, 3-0.  The senior team of King and Yacaman took the Flight 3 title with a 3-0 and record.     

The men also traveled to Edwardsville, Illinois the following week for their second invite of the offseason to face SIUE, Illinois State and Northern Illinois.  Sophomore David Ferragut dominated 3-0 in singles to take the Flight 2 title.  Freshman Oscar Pachon earned two wins to capture the Flight 7 title.  The team of Nogalski and sophomore Juan Calero contended for the Flight 1 doubles title, but fell short with a record of 2-1.

The men and women had a quick turnaround and hosted Lindenwood-Belleville on Sept. 23.  The women defeated the Lynxes 7-0, and the men won 6-1.  The men dropped their only match of the competition to a default.

The women continued into the weekend, facing Murray State and Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Illinois on Sept. 26.  SLU swept the doubles and only dropped one singles match to take the overall win, 6-1.

They continued their success against Eastern Illinois.  Eastern Illinois put up a fight, winning two singles matches, but SLU put things away with four singles wins and all three doubles wins.

Both teams now have time off before heading into their final fall competition, traveling to Stillwater, Oklahoma on Oct. 15-19 for the ITA Central Regional Championships.