Women’s tennis loses in Sun Belt tourney semifinals

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy women’s tennis team’s postseason run was cut short by a 1-4 loss to Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference Championships.

The No. 4-seed Trojans, fresh off a 4-2 victory over fifth-seeded Coastal Carolina the day before, fell to the top-seeded Warhawks in the tournament semifinals in New Orleans.

Friday’s matchup with Sun Belt newcomer Coastal Carolina featured a dominant performance from Troy in singles play. The Chanticleers took two of the three doubles matches of the day, but conceded all but one singles match which went unfinished.

Troy’s Efriliya Herlina and Jiayuan Xue helped Troy to avoid the doubles sweep, defeating CCU’s Brooke Campbell and Romane Delay 6-3.

Singles play for Troy looked as if it might be a repeat of the doubles results as Nancy Karaky lost in two sets to the Chanticleers’ Marie Babayan. The Trojans responded to that loss with four straight wins, all but one of which came in two sets. Alicia Rodriguez’ match was the only one to go unfinished on the day.

The team had little time to rest following the win due to a matchup with a top-ranked ULM team coming off a 4-0 sweep of Texas State the day before.

Despite the Trojans winning two of three doubles matches, they were no match for the Warhawks in the singles phase. Troy dropped four of the six matches with the other two matches going unfinished.

Rodriguez and Hannah Seizer won their match 6-4 over ULM’s Madalina Grigoriu and Karolina Snita, and the duo of Karaky and Sanae Ohta battled their way to a 7-6 win over Stefana Andrei and Petra Horakova to capture the doubles point.

The third doubles match went unfinished.

The Warhawks made quick work of Troy in singles play, defeating all Trojans in two sets. Herlina was the only Trojan to keep things close, tying 2-2 with Snita in the third set of a match that was called early.

“I am very proud of the girls’ performance towards end of the season,” Troy Head Coach Rawia Elsisi said. “They gave everything they had and went into the Sun Belt Championships and competed hard the entire tournament. I am very excited about next year, as we will have four very hungry seniors. We will develop our younger players and learn from this season moving forward.”

With the loss, Troy’s season has ended with the Trojans having an 8-15 overall record and a 2-2 record in the conference.

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