Tennis Teams Tame Cowley College

Photo by Krista Pylant
Eye on the Ball: Senior Felipe Oyarzun hits a return against his opponent. The upperclassman won his singles match 6-3, 6-0 during the Black and Gold's sweep against Cowley College on Sept. 12 in Oklahoma City. The women's team continued the momentum with a 7-2 win against the Tigers later in the day to open the tennis slate for the 2016-2017 year.

Jacob Jardel
Voices Editor
@JJardel_Writing

Cameron’s tennis teams started their new season with a pair of routs against Cowley College on Sept. 12 in Oklahoma City.

The Black and Gold continued their success from last year with the women’s 7-2 debut against the seventh-ranked Tigers. This victory followed the men’s team’s 9-0 sweep earlier in the day.

Both teams entered the matches ranked 16th in their respective polls after deep runs in the NCAA tournament. The women made a run to the Elite Eight after winning the Lone Star Conference title. On the other side of the court, the men played their way into the Sweet 16.

After banner seasons, the teams looked to hit the court running. Senior Felipe Oyarzun mentioned that consistency would help the teams succeed through the year.

“It’s a long process,” he said in an interview with “Game Time” on CUTV. “We only have a couple of tournaments in the fall. Then we have our full season in the spring, so I think [the key is] just hard work [to] keep being dedicated.”

The men started off day with their first sweep of Cowley since 2013.

In doubles action, the Aggies played a trio of close matches against the number eight Tigers. The top two doubles teams ended up winning 8-5 each, while the team of sophomore Bruno Babic and freshman Stefam Svicevic won 8-4.

From there, Cameron took over the rest of the match. Sophomore Vinicius Santos made his first start at the top singles spot for the Aggies, clinching the win 6-2, 7-6 (3). Oyarzun (6-3, 6-0) and junior Mateo Velasco (6-2, 6-0) swept their closing sets to clinch the second and third slots.

Babic played the only match that went three sets, defeating Cowley’s Christian Borrero 6-2, 3-6, 10-3. Freshman Julen Gutierrez won 6-2, 6-3, and redshirt freshman Keiran President closed off the sweep for the Black and Gold after a retirement in the six-spot match.

After the match, Graduate Assistant Joao Fazendeiro noted that one of the keys winning the opener was simplicity.

“Normally, in the first match, they tend to be nervous,” he said. “However, they didn’t complicate it, so I’m really proud of them.”

In women’s action, CU jumped out of the gates with a 2-1 doubles advantage. Sophomore Zhenia Shviadok and senior Paula Gutierrez won 8-4 in the one slot, while seniors Samantha Wood and Magdalena Kovinic won in the three slot 8-1.

The lone doubles loss occurred in the two spot when freshman Jamie Kronenberg and junior Mathilde Thibaudat fell 3-8.

The singles slate proved to be the deciding factor for the Black and Gold, with the Aggies claiming all but one spot in the matchup.

Gutierrez fell 4-6, 2-6 in the one slot against Sarah Frendo, the second-ranked NJCAA women’s player. However, Cameron did not drop another set the rest of the match, with the two-through-five slots winning without conceding more than three games in a frame.

Head Coach James Helvey said that these matches were vital in tracking the team’s progress.

“It kind of gives me a good start to see where we are,” he said. “[We check if] our practices are going the way they need to, are we working on the things we need to, what do we need to work on.

“It was a good day,” he said.

The Aggies are 1-0 to start the season.

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