By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor
The UNO women’s tennis team traveled to Kansas City Friday afternoon, dropping a morning matchup with UMKC 6-1 then rebounding to defeat Emporia State 6-3 in the afternoon. In the two matches, Mav doubles only picked up one win while singles were a combined 5-7.
The day started off ominously as future Summit League opponent UMKC gave the Mavs an idea of what to expect in their new conference. Freshman Alex Tran was the only UNO player to have any success against UMKC. Tran won for the Mavs in the one spot over Eva Dalvai 6-4, 1-6, 10-7.
In doubles, Tran wasn’t as lucky, teaming up with Rachel Pierson to fall to Laura Boet and Dalvai 8-5. Kelsie Olson and Jacqueline Baude were beaten in the second spot 9-8 (7-3), and Heather Hottman and Lindsay Weideman dropped the third spot 8-6.
“I thought we outplayed them in doubles, they just happened to take the doubles point,” head coach Mike Saniuk said. “Doubles could have been a different story, but we competed pretty well. They’re one of the better teams in the Summit League. Overall I thought it was a good showing even though the score line wasn’t in our favor.”
Outside of Tran’s singles victory, only Weideman came close to earning UNO another team point. But after dropping the first set 1-6 then rebounding to take the second set 6-4, Weideman fell in the third set 1-5.
No other Mav won more than four sets in any singles match. Olson dropped the two spot 6-4, 6-2, Baude was defeated in the fourth spot 6-1, 6-2, Pierson lost the fifth spot 6-4, 6-3 and Hottman fell in the sixth position 6-2, 6-2.
Despite the lack of success earlier in the day, it didn’t translate into any hardship in UNO’s match with Emporia State later that afternoon. Against the Hornets, the Mavs put themselves in a winning position by taking two of the three opening doubles matches.
“Our girls beat Emporia 5-4 last year so for them to beat them 6-3 this year shows that they’re getting better not only within the season but from year to year,” Saniuk said. “Last year they were one of the top seeds going into the conference tournament. “Our girls played well, it was tight though.”
Though Tran and Pierson lost in the number one spot, they were picked up by teammates Olson and Baude and Weideman and Hottman. Olson and Baude won their number two matchup 8-2, then Weideman and Hottman won a close one in 16 sets, 9-7.
Weideman, Baude and Hottman continued their success into singles, picking up three of the Mavs’ six team points. Weideman took the third spot over Alex Crowe 6-4, 6-1, Baude won number four over Tiffany Khonsombath 6-0, 6-4 and Hottman won the sixth position against Abby Morris 7-6 (7-2), 7-5.
Tran was defeated in the one spot 6-4, 6-2 to Nicole Jara, and Kelsie Olson fell in the two spot, withdrawing from the match after being down 5-3 in the first set.
“Our one doubles got beat pretty handily, two doubles won pretty handily and three doubles it could have gone either way,” Saniuk said. “Our girls maintained focus, they know what to do and when to do it.”
“It was a good win. It helped show some determination and it gave us the energy going into singles that we needed”
UNO (4-11) returns to action Monday, traveling to Macomb, Ill. to face another future Summit League opponent Western Illinois.