SFA goes in search of first-ever conference title.
April 11, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -
The Stephen F. Austin women's tennis team is on the verge of making more history in Patrick Sullivan's second season as head coach. The 'Jacks enter the final two matches of the regular season with a 19-3 (.864) overall record, and a perfect 9-0 mark in Southland Conference play and are only one win away from earning at least a share of its first-ever conference title.
The 'Jacks will be in San Marcos, Texas Friday afternoon to face Texas State. The Bobcats are 13-4 (.765) on the season, and second in the conference standings with an 8-1 (.889) record. If SFA can defeat Texas State, it would win the conference championship outright, but SFA can still win at least a share of the title with a loss to the Bobcats. If SFA loses to Texas State, but defeats Texas-Arlington Sunday in the regular-season finale, SFA can do no worse than a tie for first place.
UTA enters the week with a 12-7 (.632) overall record, and 7-2 (.778) in conference play. The Lady Mavs will host Sam Houston State Saturday morning, before the 'Jacks come to town.
Friday's match at Texas State is slated for a 2 p.m. start, while Sunday's match in Arlington will begin at 11 a.m.
The 'Jacks jumped nine places in the ITA polls this week. After spending the past two weeks at No. 50, SFA will enter the final week of the regular season ranked No. 41.
SFA is also on the verge of a 20-win season for the second consecutive year. If SFA can close out the year making a clean sweep of conference opponents, it will have recorded its first-ever undefeated season in conference play, and set a new record for wins is a season (21).
The 'Jacks have five players who have already wrapped up 20-win seasons in doubles play, led by freshman Malena Gordo's 25 victories. Classmate Elena Kordolaimi and junior Antonia Kolovou each have 22 wins, while senior Alina Shazhko has 21 singles victories. Freshman Tereza Bekerova has 20 wins on the year.
Freshman Julia Lorca may be the hottest player on the team having won 10 straight. She is a perfect 11-0 at No. 6 singles, and has not lost in Southland Conference play (5-0).
Regardless of the outcome of the final two matches of the season, SFA will host the 2012 Southland Conference Tennis Championships at the Schlief Tennis Complex. The 'Jacks can enter the tournament anywhere from the No. 1 seed to the No. 3 seed depending on the outcome of the two upcoming matches.