durantdemocrat.com

Savage Storm tennis teams stubble in semifinals

By Randy Bruce

April 20, 2014

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — After a marathon five-hour match in the Great American Conference Tournament semifinal, Southeastern men’s tennis team saw its bid for sweeping the regular season and postseason conference titles come to an end after being upset by Ouachita Baptist 5-4 in Bentonville, Ark.


The loss drops the Savage Storm to 13-7 on the season and leaves the team waiting to learn of its potential NCAA tournament chances.


Top-seeded SE came into the event after sweeping the competition in the regular season, including a 6-3 road win over OBU earlier in the year.


The Storm looked solid on Friday after doubles play, bouncing back from a loss at number one to get a win from the duo of Alberto Blesa and Tiago Ferreira at number two, taking their match 9-8 (5) at number two, while Nathan Nelmes and Billy Haugen picked up an 8-4 win at number three.


The Tigers picked up wins at numbers one and two to take a 3-2 lead in the match, but Martin Bedecarratz evened the match at 3-3 with a 6-1, 7-5 win at number five.


OBU regained the lead at 4-3 with a win at number three, but Renato Joao answered with a 7-6, 8-6 (5) win at number six to again even the match.


In the final match, Ferreira picked up a 6-4 win in the first set at number four, but dropped sets two and three by scored of 6-4 and 7-5 and the Storm would find themselves on the wrong end of the 5-4 score.


Women’s Tennis:


BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Southeastern opened the day with a 5-0 first round win over Ouachita Baptist, but ended it on a sour note with a 5-1 loss to Arkansas Tech in the Great American Conference semifinals on Friday in Bentonville, Ark.


The Savage Storm finish the season 8-14.


In the opener, the Storm swept its way through doubles play to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the match.


Marina Dias and Cassaundra Braaten picked up an 8-2 win at number three, followed by Darija Catipovic and Conchi Assiego cruising to an 8-0 win at number two.


Ilga Racika-Racko and Brittany Tobin completed the sweep with an 8-4 win at number one.


It was the bottom of the Storm lineup that took care of business first in singles play, with Tobin flying to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Katelyn Barber at number six, followed by Braaten nailing down a 6-0, 6-0 win of her own over Keely Howk at number five to clinch the match with a 5-0 win.


In the semifinal matchup against Arkansas Tech, SE found itself trailing 2-1 after doubles play, with Catipovic and Assiego picking up the win at number two, 8-6.


Unfortunately, the Storm could not get a rally going in singles play, with ATU picking up straight-set wins at numbers one, two and four to fashion the 5-1 final score.