Tennis’ new Head Coach Adam Albertsen led the team through a strong weekend, improving their season record to 2-1.
Saturday’s matches at the Edwardsville Meyer Center YMCA started out strong for SIUE. Doubles finished with a 3-0 sweep against Western Illinois University.
Junior Lara Tupper and senior Ann-Christine Link at No. 1 Doubles scored a 6-2 victory, followed by freshman Maria Thibault and redshirt sophomore Callaghan Adams in a 6-2 lead over Western for their No. 2 doubles match. Senior Alina Munteanu and freshman Nicole Gomez scored 6-0 in their No. 3 doubles match.
The teams’ wins in doubles weren’t a mistake, according to Adams.
“We just try to have a good practice the night before, get some good rest and come with high energy to the match. We practice pretty much every day,” Adams said.
The domination during doubles came after a close matchup last week at Chicago State University, where SIUE took home only one of the day’s doubles wins with Tupper and Link stealing a 6-2 final score.
“Last weekend we lost the doubles point, but today everybody was playing super well right from the gates,” Link said.
The Cougars’ wins were a strategic victory, according to Albertsen — one that was practiced after their matches in Chicago.
“The big thing we worked on all week was doubles; that’s an area we wanted to get cleaned up and get sharper in after our previous match-up. These early matches, we’re working on a lot of things and learning, so it was really cool to see us step up and take all three doubles,” Albertsen said.
Saturday’s singles matches ended with all SIUE players sweeping their three finished matches. The largest score gap came from Munteanu’s winning No. 1 singles sets, which wrapped up at 6-0, 6-2.
Two of the matches against Western went unfinished, and one left not played after the fourth-in-a-row victory for the Cougars. After the fourth win, Western would be unable to take the win — when the coaches chose to call it a day.
The Cougars returned to another day of matches Sunday, up against Missouri State University. In their season’s inaugural matches, Missouri State came out with determination, scoring a 4-3 victory over the Cougars.
SIUE’s top scorers were Munteanu and Gomez, with a 7-5 victory in their No. 3 doubles match. Munteanu also defeated Missouri State’s Alye Darter 3-6-6 at No. 1 singles.
Missouri State’s win came after a strong round of singles play where the team overpowered SIUE’s strong doubles play to get the victory.
Women’s tennis is still improving on last years’ 0-20 season. Next week, the Cougars play against Drake University at Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa and against the University of Northern Iowa Sunday.