SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (1/27/24) – Matching its win total from a season ago, the Arkansas State women’s tennis team earned a 4-1 victory over Oral Roberts Saturday.
A-State moves to 2-2 on the season, matching its win total from the 2022-23 campaign (2-18). Oral Roberts drops to 0-3 on the season with the loss.
“I am so proud of these ladies,” A-State head coach Sujay Lama said. “Today was applying what we learned from two tough losses and having grit. The resilience and fight each one of them displayed is the definition of character. It’s so good to see their hard work paying off and to see them having so much fun.”
A tiebreak once again decided the double points for the Red Wolves and Oral Roberts took the 1-0 lead with a tiebreak win on court three. The duo of Nejla Zukic and Yasmine Humbert won 6-4 on court one, but Sarah Millard and Abigail Thurmer were dealt a 6-4 setback on court two. Rebecca Brody and Emiliya Margolin trailed 3-0, 4-1 and 5-2 in their match on court three, but forced a decisive tiebreak. The A-State duo built a 3-0 advantage in the tiebreak before the Eagles duo scored the next five points and went on to secure the doubles point with the 7-5 tiebreak.
Trailing 1-0, A-State took four singles matches to clinch the match. It marks the first time an A-State team won all singles matches in a contest it lost the doubles point since a 6-1 win over Evansville in 2013. Humbert evened the match at 1-1 with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 win on court two over Luna Morinii. Moments later, A-State took a 2-1 lead with Brody securing a 7-5, 6-3 win over Arina Sorokina on court three. Sarah Millard overcame a setback in the first set to win on court three 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 as the Red Wolves moved one win away from clinching the match. Ariadna Fernandez dropped the first set 6-2, but rallied back 6-4, 6-3 to seal the victory for A-State and move to 4-0 in singles this season.
“It was really an energetic day,” Fernandez said. “When I was on the court and I lost the first set, I told myself that I would go out there to fight with my heart and soul to get the victory that the team needed, so I took a deep breath, restarted my head and started again. I went out to fight and I didn’t want to leave the court without that victory.
“I am proud to be with the girls and coaches on this team where day by day, everyone trains hard and leaves everything on the court. The passion and love for this sport, and that we each have different stories but we were able to build a single path, is magnificent! My teammates and coaches gave me the confidence and trust to go out on the court to look for more and more every day. I dedicate this victory to my God, my family, my team here and in Ecuador, with all my heart, I will continue to fight!”
At the point Fernandez clinched the match, Margolin and Thurmer held leads on courts five and six. Margolin led 5-3 over Reagan Miley while Thurmer won the first set against Annelise Deer 6-2.
A-State plays its next four matches in Jonesboro, beginning Friday (Feb. 2) against Lindenwood. First serve is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at RidgePointe Country Club (2510 Ridgepointe Drive).
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Red Wolves Victorious Over Oral Roberts 4-1. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council