The Abilene Christian women's tennis team took another step toward first place in the Southland Conference Saturday after defeating Sam Houston State, 6-1, at the McAdams Center.
The win was the Wildcats' third straight in conference play, lifting their season and league records to 14-4 and 6-2, while the Bearkats fell to 4-10 and 2-7. Today's victory also was ACU's largest against a conference opponent since shutting out Incarnate Word, 7-0, on March 9.
But like most of the Wildcats' conference wins, this triumph did not come easily. Junior Brittney Reed and freshman Erin Walker had to beat Olivia Battye and Maddie Mortimore in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (1), just to earn the doubles point, and in singles, matches at No. 2, 5, and 6 all were determined in a third set.
Walker won the match at No. 2 as she was playing at that position for the first time in a conference dual, but she responded to the challenge with a come-from-behind, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 1-0 (10-7), decision over Imke Jagau.
Walker's move up the lineup bumped Reed down to No. 3, however, she came through with a quick, 6-1, 6-1 win over Natalie Petaia to snap a four-match losing streak.
Also winning in straight sets today were Micah Hermsdorf and Nada Marjanovic. Hermsdorf improved her record at No. 1 singles to 14-4 as she handled Battye, 6-3, 6-4, while at No. 4, Marjanovic won her 17th match of the spring, defeating Kayla Stevenson, 6-4, 6-1.
Kaysie Hermsdorf won her match at No. 5 over Karen Martinez, 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (5-10), but at No. 6, senior Emily Conrad fell to Isabella Costa, 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-5), which gave the Bearkats their lone point.
Kaysie and Micah Hermsdorf were once again winners in doubles together, beating Jagau and Stevenson, 8-3, which lifted their No. 1 dual record to 16-1 (.941).
The Wildcats return to action Sunday with a men's and women's doubleheader at Lamar.
Abilene Christian 6, Sam Houston State 1
Apr 12, 2014 at Huntsville, Texas (McAdams Center)
1. Micah Hermsdorf (ACU) def. Olivia Battye (SHSU) 6-3, 6-4
2. Erin Walker (ACU) def. Imke Jagau (SHSU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 1-0 (10-7)
3. Brittney Reed (ACU) def. Natalie Petaia (SHSU) 6-1, 6-1
4. Nada Marjanovic (ACU) def. Kayla Stevenson (SHSU) 6-4, 6-1
5. Kaysie Hermsdorf (ACU) def. Karen Martinez (SHSU) 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (5-10)
6. Isabella Costa (SHSU) def. Emily Conrad (ACU) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-5)
1. Kaysie Hermsdorf/Micah Hermsdorf (ACU) def. Imke Jagau/Kayla Stevenson (SHSU) 8-3
2. Brittney Reed/Erin Walker (ACU) def. Olivia Battye/Maddie Mortimore (SHSU) 8-7 (7-1)
3. Isabella Costa/Natalie Petaia (SHSU) def. Emily Conrad/Nada Marjanovic (ACU) 8-6
Abilene Christian 14-4, SLC 6-2
Sam Houston State 4-10, SLC 2-7