Tennis: Men and women compete in ITA Tournament

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The SLU women’s tennis team saw success in Minneapolis, Minn. when they competed in the ITA Central Regional on October 13-17. Senior Verginie Tchakarova led SLU in singles with a 2-1 record. She defeated Missouri State, 6-0, 6-1, and Southern Illinois, 6-0, 6- 1. Sophomore Ally McKenzie posted a 1-2 record.

Cassie McKenzie also went 1-2 on the weekend. In her first match, she lost 6-2, 6-4. She turned things around with a victory over South Dakota State, 7-5, 6-1. She lost her final match in a tough third-set decision to Nebraska, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.

The Billikens showed that their real strength lies in their doubles play. Verginie and her twin sister Eleonore Tchakarova posted a 2-1 record, and the McKenzie twins followed suit. The Tchakarova sisters took on South Dakota State to start, winning 8-4. Oklahoma State took a set off the sisters, 8-3, to hand them their loss.

However, they turned their game around when they pounded on Nebraska, 8-1. The McKenzie-McKenzie duo took the blow in their first match, losing to Kansas State, 8-2. However, they were victorious over both South Dakota State and Northern Iowa, winning 8-4 in both matches.

Senior Aspen Cervin traveled to Malibu, Calif. to represent the women’s squad in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Masters Tournament on October 13-16. Cervin faced a tough first-round draw against No. 7 seed Duke. She was defeated, 6-1, 6-3. Knocked down to the consolation bracket, Cervin took on New Mexico State and won easily.

Cervin pressed on through consolation, but Xavier showed her the exit of the tournament in a threeset match, winning 6-3, 6-7, 6-0.

The men’s team brought home strong results the following weekend, October 20-24, with several singles and doubles wins for many players. Freshman Justin Nogalski went 1-2 in singles, defeating Oklahoma in a three-set showdown, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8. Junior Charlie Parry and sophomore Oscar Pachon both punched in a singles win on the weekend.

Junior Juan Calero defeated Iowa in a tight two-set battle, 7-5, 7-5. His doubles partner and fellow junior David Ferragut also tucked a singles win under his belt when he beat Iowa, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

The duo blazed through the first two rounds of the doubles bracket, taking down Tulsa, 8- 3, and Nebraska, 8-5. Te Drake team ended their streak by squeaking out a 9-8 win.

The women will wrap up their fall season at the SIUE Indoor Invitational on October 28-29, and the men will be back in action for the regular spring season in 2017.