Men’s and women’s tennis close at championships

4/22/22: USF WTEN vs LMU at Goldman Tennis Center in San Francisco, CA. Image by Chris M. Leung for USF Dons Athletics

The men’s and women’s tennis teams took to sunny Southern California to compete in the West Coast Conference Championships (WCC) with sixth and fifth seed placements against the No. 3 Portland Pilots and No. 4 Brigham Young Cougars on April 28.

The Pilots secured the first doubles point against the men’s team through carrying the 6-3 victory and following up with a 7-6 lead in the next match. 

The Dons didn’t find much luck following the doubles point as the Pilots dominated the singles, up until sophomore Nil Giraldez brought up one point for the Dons, scoring 6-3 in both of his sets, closing the Dons at a 1-4 defeat. 

Despite the loss, the Dons gained their first entry into the championships since the 2015-16 season. Two Dons were also recognized as WCC honorees through their single and doubles play: seniors Phuc Huynh and Nitzan Ricklis for honorable mention doubles, and Huynh for the second team singles. 

Similar to the Pilots, the Cougars were able to obtain the doubles point to start off the women’s match, but the Dons found their momentum throughout the singles in their first game of the WCC Championships. 

With the help of freshman Hana Gamracy going 6-3 and 6-4 in her matches, senior Rita Coyler 6-1, and senior Caragh Courtney going 6-7, 6-7, and 6-4, the Dons found themselves tied with the Cougars. 

Sophomore Mya Bui took on the weight of her matches, finishing 6-4, 4-6, and 6-4, carrying the Dons to their 6-4 victory and path to the semifinals. 

The team couldn’t find the same rhythm against the No. 1 Pepperdine Waves the following day, however, as they came short in both doubles and singles rounds, finishing with a total of 0-6.

Senior Rita Coyler and sophomore Maria Martinez Vaquero closed off the season with recognition through second team doubles, and Martinez Vaquero finished on second team for singles. 

The men’s team finished with a 6-4 home record and 11-13 overall, while the women’s team went 8-2 and 12-11. This was the men’s first conference championship appearance in five years, and the first for the women’s team in six.

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