Tennis Opens The Season Strong In Tulsa

By: Martyn Fletcher

Playing in its first competitive matches in over 10 months, the Wyoming women’s tennis team got off to a good start to begin its 2021 campaign, securing victories over Central Arkansas and Louisiana Tech on the day.

The Cowgirls (2-0) opened the day with a 5-2 victory over Central Arkansas before topping Louisiana Tech in the afternoon. Wyoming leads the LTU match 4-2 as the doubles portion of the match will conclude Sunday, but have secured the match victory through singles play.

“I thought we came out with a lot of fire in doubles today,” said Head Coach Dean Clower.

“I was really happy with the intensity we played with and are beginning to play our style of doubles. In singles against a very good Central Arkansas team, our upperclassmen really came out ready to play and imposed their will early on. The freshmen, led by Noesjka Brink really impressed me with their aggressiveness and structure early on. Against Louisiana Tech, we definitely didn’t play our best tennis but played gritty at the times that mattered most. Our older student-athletes have done a phenomenal job leading this team and the freshman have caught on quick.”

Against UCA, Wyoming swept the doubles portion of play to jump out to an early lead. At No. 1, the duo of Lucia Malinak and Maria Oreshkina took care of business against the team of Yada Vasupongchai and Mei Ishimura, winning 6-1. Mihaela Kaftanova and Ida Krause won their match 6-2 over Jaeun Lee and Sumomo Hamanaga of UCA at the No. 2 spot while at third position, the team of Ana Fernandez and Sophie Zehender best Fuka Nonoyama and Paulina Engback in a tough match, 7-5.

The Cowgirls won 4-of-6 matches in singles play to open the year. Zehender picked up a victory at the No. 2 position over Vasupongchai, 6-1 and 6-4. At No. 3, Fernandez won 6-3, 6-2 over Hamanaga while at No. 5 and 6, Krause and Brink got straight-set victories, respectively. Krause won 6-4 and 6-4 over Ishimura while Brink made quick work of Engback, 6-0 and 6-3.

Against Louisiana Tech, UW again won four of the six singles matches. Zehender concluded her day with another victory, this time at No. 1 singles over Leonie Schuknecht in a hard-fought battle, winning 6-4, 7-6 and 7-6. At No. 2, Oreshkina picked up the win in three sets, beating Ilana Tetruashvili 4-6, 6-4 and 6-2. Krause finished up her 2-0 day with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 5 over Lara Unkovich while at No. 6, Alyse Cormier made her Cowgirl debut with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Madalena Amil.

The Cowgirls finish up their match with Louisiana Tech bright and early Sunday as the two teams will play the doubles competition beginning at 7:30 a.m., Mountain Time. Wyoming will conclude its weekend then against host-Tulsa after that.

Wyoming vs. Central Arkansas
1/16/21 at Tulsa
(Tulsa, Okla.)

Wyoming 5, Central Arkansas 2
Singles competition
1. Fuka Nonoyam (UCA) def. Maria Oreshkina (WYO) 6-2, 6-7, 6-0
2. Sophie Zehender (WYO) def. Yada Vasupongchai (UCA) 6-1, 6-4
3. Ana Fernandez (WYO) def. Sumomo Hamanaga (UCA) 6-3, 6-2
4. Jaeun Lee (UCA) def. Lucia Malinak (WYO) 4-6, 6-4, 10-6
5. Ida Krause (WYO) def. Mei Ishimura (UCA) 6-4, 6-4
6. Noesjka Brink (WYO) def. Paulina Engback (UCA) 6-0, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Malinak/Oreshkina (WYO) def. Vasupongchai/Ishimura (UCA) 6-1
2. Kaftanova/Krause (WYO) def. Lee/Hamanaga (UCA) 6-2
3. Fernandez/Zehender (WYO) def. Nonoyama/Engback (UCA) 7-5

Wyoming vs. Louisiana Tech
1/16/21 at Tulsa
(Tulsa, Okla.)

Wyoming 4, Louisiana Tech 2 **doubles still to be played**
Singles competition
1. Sophie Zehender (WYO) def. Leonie Schuknecht (LT) 6-4, 6-7, 7-6
2. Maria Oreshkina (WYO) def. Ilana Tetruashvili (LT) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. Anastasiia Salenko (LT) def. Ana Fernandez (WYO) 6-3, 6-4
4. Alexia Romero (LT) def. Lucia Malinak (WYO) 6-4, 6-4
5. Ida Krause (WYO) def. Lara Unkovich (LT) 6-1, 6-3
6. Alyse Cormier (WYO) def. Madalena Amil (LT) 6-2, 6-1