Trio of seniors honored in final home match
Seniors Sumarie Muller, Ali Gulida and Natalie McLeod were all honored before their final home match, but the Texas State women’s tennis team (10-10, 7-4 SLC) could not provide a win to cap the day, falling 4-3 to Texas-Arlington (7-12, 6-5 SLC) on Saturday at the Bobcat Tennis Complex.
“These are my very, very first recruits so that makes this day emotional,” said Head Coach Tory Plunkett. “I know before the match Sumarie had a tear in her eye when we brought them out, and I got a little bit choked up too.”
When the match started, the Mavs were forced to forfeit the No. 3 doubles match after having only five players suited up but rallied to win the doubles point with a pair of 8-3 wins at the top two positions.
UTA increased its lead in singles play with Monika Hadvigerova’s straight set win over Andrea Giraldo at the top singles spot. In No. 2 singles, Ashley Ellis battled back in the second set to win 7-6 but came up short in the third and deciding set with a 6-2 loss.
Fittingly, the trio of seniors brought Texas State back with three singles wins. Gulida defeated Sara Pesic 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 singles while Muller recorded a straight set 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Nelli Bodiford. McLeod gave the Bobcats a third point at the No. 6 position, which UTA was forced to forfeit.
“Ali was All-Conference last year and was voted Newcomer of Year as well last season. She stepped it up a notch for us this year and has done a phenomenal job leading this team,” said Plunkett. “Sumarie has improved each year, and for her to always be in the lineup each year with our team getting better and better shows her that the day-in, day-out hard work was worth it.””
However, Daiana Negreanu clinched the win for the Mavs with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Lainy Chafitz at No. 3 singles. Despite the loss, Texas State remains locked into the No. 4 seed for the Southland Conference Tournament, thanks in large part to McLeod and the other two seniors.
“Natalie has played a very valuable role outside of the court to keep this team together as a unit. It is a team effort, and Natalie is probably our biggest asset in keeping this team going as a whole,” said Plunkett. “She has the kindest heart and has helped me out tremendously with her hard work ethic, coming in here each day working hard knowing that she may not play but still pushing the team.”
The Bobcats will take on UTSA, who Texas State defeated during the regular season, in the first round of the SLC Tournament.
“I think we have very good chances at the Southland Conference Championships. We’ve proven that once we know a team, we plan for them very well the next time,” said Plunkett.
The 2008 SLC Women’s Tennis Championship Tournament will be held April 25-27 in Nacogdoches.
Texas-Arlington 4, Texas State 3
1. Monika Hadvigerova (UTA) def. Giraldo, Andrea (TXST) 6-1, 6-2
2. Klara Jagosova (UTA) def. Ellis, Ashley (TXST) 6-3, 6-7, 6-2
3. Daiana Negreanu (UTA) def. Chafitz, Lainy (TXST) 6-4, 6-3
4. Gulida, Ali (TXST) def. Sara Pesic (UTA) 6-2, 6-2
5. Muller, Sumarie (TXST) def. Nelli Bodiford (UTA) 6-0, 6-0
6. McLeod, Natalie (TXST) def. No player (UTA), by forfeit
1. Monika Hadvigerova/Klara Jagosova (UTA) def. Giraldo, Andrea/Chafitz, Lainy (TXST) 8-3
2. Sara Pesic/Daiana Negreanu (UTA) def. Ellis, Ashley/Gulida, Ali (TXST) 8-3
By CHRIS RILEY
Assistant Sports Information Director