Tennis turns to post season, women seeded fifth


The men’s and women’s tennis teams completed their seasons this past weekend with a road match against UMKC on April 20. The men closed their season with a loss on the road to UMKC, 7-0, and finished with a 7-10 record. The women finished out the year with a 14-7 record.

In doubles play, the men were unable to take any of the matches off UMKC. Junior John Nogalski and sophomore Oscar Pachon lost to Airam Castellano and Mike Psarros, 6-2. At the second spot, junior David Ferragut and Charlie Parry lost in a close set to Uldis Gaismins and Amaury Navette, 6-4. Finally, senior Paarth Dodhiawala and freshman Justin Nogalski fell to Tom Kruse and Vinh Pham, 6-1.

Going into singles play, 0-1, the Billikens were unable to scrape together a comeback. Ferragut put up a fight in the first set against Castellano, losing 7-5, but Castellano made quick work of the second set, 6-2. John Nogalski collected the only set of the day for SLU, but ultimately lost, 2-6, 6-4, 10-7. Dodhiawala was beaten handily, 6-1, 6-0, by Kruse. Pachon played Navette tight in both sets, losing 6-3, 6-3. Parry could not get in a groove against Psarros, dropping the match, 6-0, 6-2. Finally, Justin Nogalski fell to Pham, 6-1, 6-1.

The women, however, came back from a doubles deficit to take a 4-3 win off UMKC. Sophomore Ally McKenzie came up big with a three-set win at the number four singles place to give her team the victory.

The Bills dug themselves a tough hole after losing the doubles point. Seniors Eleonore Tchakarova and Verginie Tchakarova lost to Yana Grechkina and Melinda Johnson, 6-4. Senior Aspen Cervin and freshman Ariana Rodriguez put SLU back in the game with a 6-1 win over Mariam Kurasbediani and Thanushree Vale, but Ally McKenzie and freshman Mariluz Rojo Domingo were defeated by Marina Albert and Aliona Ladutska, 6-3 to concede the doubles point to UMKC.

However, the Billikens were not fazed by the setback. Cervin started the Bills off strong with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ladutska. Verginie Tchakarova dominated Kurasbediani at the number two spot, 6-0, 6-1. Eleonore Tchakarova followed in her sister’s footsteps with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Melinda Johnson. Rojo Domingo and Rodriguez lost their matches, but Ally McKenzie brought her team through the battle with a 3-6, 6-0, 10-4 win over Grechkina to give SLU their fourteenth victory of the season.

While both teams have fought through regular season play, they will put their hard work to the test when they travel to Orlando, Florida to compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship on April 26-30. The women will begin play on April 26 while the men will start up the action on April 27.

SLU’s women’s team is seeded fifth, taking on Saint Joseph’s, the twelfth seed, on April 26 at 8 a.m. The winner will face either No. 4 Davidson or No. 13 St. Bonaventure on April 28 at 8 a.m. The semifinals and finals will take place on April 29 and 30, respectively.

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