Men's tennis is 2nd and women 3rd at qualifier
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Lewis-Clark State College men’s tennis team ran into a buzz saw and fell to fifth-ranked Oklahoma Christian University 9-0 in the championship match of the NAIA Unaffiliated Group IV Tournament on Wednesday, while the Warrior women picked up a key win to place third.
The tournament, which serves as an qualifier for the NAIA national tournament, involved teams from the Cascade, Frontier, Midlands, Red River and Sooner Athletic conferences. Only the eventual winner, which turned out to be both the Oklahoma Christian men and women, earn automatic berths to the national tournaments while the others, including LCSC, have to hope for at-large bids.
The LCSC men, ranked 18th in the NAIA, won two matches on Tuesday to advance to the title match, but Oliver Sindayigaya was the only Warrior to win more than two games in a singles set against OCU. Sindayigaya fell to Bruno Tiberti, 6-4, 6-2.
“Oklahoma Christian was the strongest the NAIA team we have played this season,” said LCSC coach Kai Fong, whose club has played a number of the NAIA’s top teams from California. “They had a deep lineup from 1-6 singles and their doubles were just as dominating. Our guys played hard but we got overpowered.”
In the other matches on Wednesday, Our Lady of the Lake claimed third place with a 6-3 win over Oklahoma Baptist, while Southwest defeated Central Christian 7-2 for fifth place.
On the women’s side, fifth-ranked Oklahoma Christian defeats 12th ranked Southern Nazarene 8-1, while LCSC, ranked No. 21, got a key win over 15th-ranked Oklahoma Baptist 6-3. Southwest claimed fifth place with an 8-1 win over LSU-Shreveport.
Because the at-large berths are determined by the national rankings, the win by the Warrior women should move them ahead of Oklahoma Baptist in the poll and give them an outside shot at a return trip to nationals. There will be 10 at-large berths for the women’s tournament (12 for the men) and they will be based on the final Top 25 poll, which comes out on May 8. For the LCSC women to receive an at-large berth, it will likely have to move up 3-5 spots. The Warrior men, at this point, seem to be in a good position.
“I feel that our women's team (and the men's) are underrated this season. I can only hope that the rankers will put some meat into this victory,” Fong said.
The Warriors did lose two of the three doubles matches to Oklahoma Baptist, but rallied to claim five of the six singles pairings, all in straight sets.
“It was nice to see the players adjust to the windy conditions out here in the Plains,” Fong said. “A sweet win for the women against a hometown team in undesirable conditions.”
LCSC’s Barb Snecker and Chelsea Gay claimed close singles victories and then combined for a doubles win to both go 2-0 in the match. Snecker won her singles match over Mariana Rosa 6-3, 6-4; while Gay defeated Elisa Brito, 6-4, 6-4.
Oklahoma Christian 9, LCSC 0
1, Thomas Van Cauter, OC def. Ivan Krijanto, 6‐1, 6‐2
2, Martin Poboril, OC def. Anders Tischer, 6‐1, 6‐2
3. Bruno Tiberti, OC def. Oliver Sindayigaya, 6‐4, 6‐2
4. Renardy Guelfi, OC def. Viktor Svoboda, 6‐1, 6‐2
5. Esteban Flores, OC def. Benjamin Robert, 6‐1, 6‐1
6. Andre Guzman, OC def. Nicolas Tweedie, 6‐1, 6‐1
1, Van Cauter-Pieracianni, OC def. Krijanto / Robert, L 8‐1
2. Poboril-Tiberti, OC def. Tischer / Svoboda, 8‐4
3. Guelfi-Flores, OC def. Uauy / Gay, 8‐1
LCSC 6, Oklahoma Baptist 3
1. Dominika Jasova, LCSC, def. Paola Costa 6-3, 6-3
2. Lili Fereirra, OBU, def. Dorothy Chong, 6-3, 6-0
3. Barb Snecker, LCS, def. Mariana Rosa 6-3, 6-4
4. Ciara Schultz, LCSC, def. Katie Halbesleben, 6-1, 6-2
5. Samantha Teigen, LCSC, def. Diana Barns, 6-1, 6-1
6. Chelsea Gay, LCSC, def. Elisa Brito, 6-4, 6-4
1. Costa / Fereirra, OBU, def. Jasova / Chong, 9-7
2. Barns / Rosa, OBU, def. Teigen / Wold, 8-4
3. Snecker/Gay, LCSC, def. Halbesleben / Brito, 8-1