SIU tennis splits weekend matches

By Gus Bode

The SIU men’s tennis team dominated its season opener while the women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the year in its home opener.

‘ The men began their regular season with a 7-0 victory at home Saturday against Murray State, whereas the women lost 5-2 to Arkansas State on Sunday.

‘ Men’s head coach Dann Nelson said he was pleased with the results.

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‘ ‘We played like I thought we would play. It’s nice to open up at home and play well,’ Nelson said.

The Salukis swept their matches against the Racers by collecting the doubles point and following it with wins in all six singles flights.’

Junior Lucas Waked recorded victories in his No. 1 singles match against Ben Clos, 6-4, 7-6(6), and his doubles match with Anton Leonenko against Clos and Jose Berardo, 8-5.

‘It feels good, it was an important match for me,’ Waked said.’ ‘I feel like we have a good chance to win conference.’

The men’s team will travel to Bloomington, Ind., on Sunday to play Indiana University.’ The Hoosiers hold the No. 52 ranking in the country.

‘They’re a great team, but we’re playing good too,’ Nelson said.’ ‘If we want to be nationally ranked, we have to knock off nationally ranked teams.’

The Saluki women could not continue their hot start to the season against Arkansas State, as the Red Wolves picked up a 5-2 win.

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SIU head coach Audra Nothwehr said she felt the team was still working out some early jitters in a loss she described as ‘not too discouraging.’

‘We didn’t play terrible. It could have gone either way today,’ Nothwehr said.

Despite the outcome of the match, there were several bright spots during the match.

Senior Fadzai Mawisire, a transfer from Lindsey Wilson College, won her No. 1 singles match against Jenny Herring, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. Mawisire also teamed with Ame Blacketer to pick up a doubles match victory against Tina Ojdanic and Jenny Herring, 8-2, to improve her record to 6-0 since joining SIU.

‘I just go out there and play the best that I can,’ Mawisire said.’ ‘If I win, I win.’ If I lose ‘- well that hasn’t happened.’

The team was also surprised by the amount of support that showed up to the match.

‘We had more fans than we’ve ever had before,’ Nothwehr said.’ ‘Some of the girls were like ‘Whoa, where did these people come from?”

The women’s team will travel to Ohio to play against Dayton on Friday and Cincinnati on Saturday.

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