Record season for women’s tennis comes to an end


The SLU men’s tennis team saw their season come to a close on April 14 with a 4-0 loss to George Mason in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.

The Billikens started off from behind as they dropped the doubles point, losing at number one and number two doubles, 6-3, 6-2, respectively.  Sophomore Juan Calero lost in a tough three-set contest at number two singles.  He lost the first set, 7-5, but was able to steal the second set, 6-2.  George Mason took the final set, 6-2, to lead the competition, 2-0, overall.

Sophomore Charlie Parry suffered the same fate with a three-set loss at number four singles, 2-6, 6-2, 4-6.  The Patriots sealed the deal with a 6-0, 6-4 win at number six singles over SLU senior Miguel Flores and stamped their ticket into the quarterfinals.

Overall, the men finished 10-7 on the year and 2-2 in regular-season conference play.

The women’s tennis team concluded their season on April 23 as they were ousted in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship by top-seeded VCU, 4-1.

The women, ranked fourth in the tournament, coasted through the first round against Rhode Island, 4-0.  Due to rain delays, the singles competition was held first.  SLU swept the singles and consequently did not need to enter into doubles play.  Junior Verginie Tchakarova dominated at number three singles, winning her match 6-0, 6-0.  Senior Madison Cook excelled at number four singles, only dropping one game in her 6-1, 6-0 victory.

The Billikens tied the school record for most wins with their victory against Rhode Island, a record previously set in the 1979-80 season.

SLU continued to cruise through the competition with a win against Richmond in the quarterfinals.  The squad clinched a 4-1 victory.

The junior sister duo of Eleonore and Verginie Tchakarova took the number one doubles win, 6-4, and the duo of junior Aspen Cervin and senior Madison Cook followed with a 6-2 victory to take the doubles point.

The singles competition was more of a battle, however.  Eleonore Tchakarova defeated her competitor at the number two singles spot, 6-3, 6-2, resulting in the only match to finish in straight sets.  Verginie Tchakarova came out on top after dominating the first set, 6-1.  She battled through a much closer second-set tiebreaker, conceding the set 6-7 (5-7).  In the end, she gained momentum once again to finish out the third set with ease, 6-1.

Richmond claimed the next point at number four singles to edge closer to SLU, 3-1 overall.  Cook lost in a three-set battle, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6.  Top dog Aspen Cervin made it clear she had her teammate’s back and came up big from behind with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win to seal the victory for her team, 4-1.

Their record-breaking season would come to close on April 23, with a loss to number-one ranked VCU, 4-1.  The Rams dominated in doubles with wins at the number one and two spots.  They took a bigger advantage with a straight set victory at number four singles over Cook, 6-1, 6-4.  Cervin had her third singles win of the tournament at number one singles, 6-2, 6-3.  The match could have gone either way, with the momentum in favor of the Billikens as they were slowly coming back from the 2-1 deficit.

Unfortunately, VCU stymied SLU’s chances and put away the second and third singles matches to take the overall win and secure a spot in the conference tournament championship.  The women boasted their best record so far in a season, 20-5, and established a respectable 4-0 record in regular-season conference play.

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