Despite a valiant effort, the Weber State University women’s tennis team fell short against Akron by a final of 4–3 on Jan. 31 at the Ogden Athletic Club.
After winning the doubles match and claiming two of the first five singles matches, the Wildcats needed to prevail in the No. 3 spot to emerge victorious on the day. Freshman Yuuna Ukita got off to a solid start as she won the first three sets, but it was for naught as she dropped the final five to lower the ‘Cats record to 2–2 on the season.
“The girls played very well,” WSU head coach Mark Roberts said. “The two we have lost have just kind of slipped away from us, we were right there.”
The Wildcats came out with their racquets on fire, as the freshman duo of Caitlin Herb and Megan Lombardi swept the No. 3 spot by winning six straight games.
Lombardi also contributed in singles play, winning her games by scores of 6-4 and 6–3.
Roberts said he was encouraged by the play of Lombardi, as well as freshman Cali Fuller’s performance.
“Cali definitely played well. She played out three doubles and four singles,” Roberts said. “Right from the get go, she was in the middle of it. She had a very good win in singles.”
The defeat came on the heels of a come-from-behind win against Boise State as part of a doubleheader in Idaho on Jan. 25. Roberts said he enjoys the challenges of non-conference matches before Big Sky play begins in three weeks.
“They are very important,” Roberts said. “They let us practice everything we need to do in a tournament. It’s all about the match toughness, the mental toughness and getting our bodies in shape. The more matches and competition we have early, the better, because it prepares us for conference play.”
Roberts gave credit to Akron, who pulled out victorious despite making the nearly 2,000 mile trip from Ohio.
“It’s definitely a good win for them,” Roberts said. “They have a good team and they competed well.”
The ‘Cats have four matches in three days starting with a Feb. 7 contest against Dixie State University in St. George. Weber State will then continue further south into Las Vegas, where they will compete in the UNLV Tournament, taking on UTEP, Youngstown State and UNLV on Feb. 8 and 9.
Weber State’s next home match will take place on Feb. 16 against Grand Canyon University.