Women’s tennis slaughters competition with three straight 7-0 victories at home

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SLU women’s tennis moved to a greater than .500 record over the past two weeks, winning four matches in a row before losing again. Their overall record now stands at 9-7. SLU women’s tennis has compiled their winning record largely behind stellar performances at home at the St. Clair Tennis Club in O’Fallon, Ill., where they are now 8-1. However, SLU women’s tennis’ poor away game form has held them back from loftier heights. They are now 1-5 on opponents’ courts, and 0-1 on neutral courts.

SLU’s winning streak began with three straight sweeps of opponents that were clearly overmatched. The first 7-0 win came against Missouri State, with not a single Billiken needing three sets to win their singles matches. Doubles also went smoothly for SLU, as the Billikens registered 6-2 and 6-1 victories.

The next match came against Western Illinois, and finished with an identical 7-0 victory for the Billikens. While one SLU student-athlete did require three sets to finish the performance, there were several standout sequences of play from the Billiken tennis players. Senior Aspen Cervin blanked her opponent, going 6-0, 6-0 and not allowing her opponent to win a single set. The doubles matches also went well for the Billikens, with SLU winning two of them 6-0 and the third by a score of 6-3.

SLU then continued their dominant string of results against Murray State, managing another 7-0 sweep of the opposing squad. Two singles matches for the Billikens went to a third set, although SLU tennis managed to take both of them. Cervin continued her dominant stretch, winning the first set 6-0. Senior Verginie Tchakarova also managed to win a set by a score of 6-0, as did sophomore Ally McKenzie. The partnership of freshman Cassie McKenzie and Cervin also dominated their doubles match, winning 6-0. However, the other two doubles matches proved to be closer contests, with seniors Eleonore Tchakarova and Verginie Tchakarova only winning 6-4. Meanwhile, Ally McKenzie and freshman Mariluz Rojo Domingo lost their doubles match in a close affair, 7-5.

SLU could not continue their 7-0 streak, but still won 4-1 against Drake. SLU won all of the completed singles matches, although the matches on the top two courts went unfinished. The doubles point, however, went to Drake, as two of Drake’s teams won while only one of SLU’s teams was able to come away victorious.

Then on Friday, March 17, SLU’s four-game winning streak was put to the test and then halted by Illinois in a sound 4-1 defeat. SLU won the doubles point against the much larger Big Ten conference school, but the singles matches proved to be SLU’s undoing. SLU could not take a single point from the singles matches against Illinois.

Next up for the Billikens will be matches against Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Ill., and against Bradley in Peoria, Ill. Afterward, SLU will take on Davidson in Dayton, Ohio in a matchup of A-10 members. The Atlantic 10 Conference Championship will take place on Orlando, Fla., from Wednesday, April 26 to Sunday, April 30.

Until then, the Billikens will be hoping to show more of the form that led them to four straight victories, including three straight 7-0 sweeps, while avoiding some of the poor showings that have contributed to their 1-5 away record. If the Billikens can take their home record to Orlando, they will be in prime position to hold their own against any of the Atlantic 10’s top women’s tennis programs.