SE Women’s tennis opens GAC Tourney as third seed

Last updated: April 18. 2014 9:20AM - 365 Views
By - rbruce@civitasmedia.com - 580-634-2161

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DURANT, Okla. - Southeastern will look to take advantage of its No. 1 seed when it opens play in the Great American Conference Tournament against Ouachita Baptist on April 18 at 1 p.m. in Bentonville, Ark.

The Savage Storm picked up its first regular season conference championship by running the table in league play, picking up wins over OBU, Harding and East Central, all on the road.

In addition to its 3-0 conference record, SE put together a 13-6 mark overall, including winning back-to-back matches to end the regular season.

When the Storm met OBU during the regular season it opened the match with a 2-1 lead after picking up a pair of wins in doubles play.

The first of those wins coming from the duo of Tiago Ferreira and Alberto Blesa who won 8-1 at number two doubles, while Billy Haugen and Nathan Nelmes also posted an 8-1 win at number three to offset the loss at number one.

The Tigers would take a brief 3-2 lead with wins at numbers one and two singles, but Petar Popovic would pick up a hard-fought 7-5, 1-6, 10-8 win at number three to even the match, and Ferreira would follow with a 6-2, 6-2 win to put the Storm in front for good at 4-3.

Bedcarratz would add a 6-0, 6-3 win at number five and Renato Joao chipped in a 6-4, 6-2 win at number six to round out the 6-3 team victory,

SE has been paced on the year by Nathan Nelmes and Alberto Blesa who come into the tournament after being named first team All-GAC following the conclusion of the regular season.

Nelmes was also tabbed the conference’s Newcomer of the Year, while head coach Shawn Hamil was named the GAC Coach of the Year.

A win in its match on Friday earns a berth in the conference championship final to face the winner between Harding and East Central, with the title match set for an 11 a.m. start on April 20.

Women’s Tennis:

DURANT, Okla. - Southeastern will set out in search of a Great American Conference title beginning April 18 when it opens play in the GAC tournament as the No. 3 seed facing sixth-seeded Ouachita Baptist at 10 a.m. in Bentonville, Ark.

The Savage Storm earned the No. 3 seed after finishing the conference schedule with a 3-2 record, while posting a 7-13 mark overall on the season.

One of those victories in conference play was a 9-0 win over its first round opponent OBU.

In their earlier season matchup in Durant, SE took every match in straight sets.

The Tigers were playing with an incomplete lineup which staked the Storm to a 2-0 lead from the outset with a win in doubles and a win in singles, but the duo of Conchi Assiego and Darija Catipovic picked up an 8-4 win at one doubles, followed by an 8-0 win at number tow by Brittany Tobin and Ilga Racika-Racko.

Catipovic added a single win at number one, 6-4, 6-0, which was followed by Racika-Racko’s 6-0, 6-0 victory at number two which clinched the win.

Assiego followed suit with a 6-2, 6-2 win at number three, followed by a 6-1, 6-1 win by Elba Haugen and a 6-0, 6-0 win by Tobin at four and five, respectively.

The squad is paced by Catipovic who comes into the tournament fresh off a selection for second team All-GAC.

On the year she posted eight doubles wins working at both two and three doubles throughout the season, including a 3-2 mark against GAC foes. She is currently on a three-match winning streak with partner Assiego.

In singles play she has picked up six victories while playing at the top of the order, including a pair of wins in conference play, both coming in straight sets.

A win over OBU would earn the Storm a trip to the second round to face Arkansas Tech at 4 p.m. on April 18, with the winner of that matchup advancing to the championship at 2 p.m. on April 19.

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