Tennis: Young team’s record falls to 1-2 on season

The Cougar tennis team took on Southern Miss on Tuesday, playing close matches all across the courts. Although they fell short, pushing their season to 1-2, UH head coach John Severance was satisfied with the improvement the players make each competition.

"The only thing disappointing about that match is that we lost," Severance said. "There was nothing negative about our play or competitiveness."

The matches were so close that if the Cougars had earned 10 more points in their favor, Houston would have won the match 5-1, Severance said.

Unfortunately, the Cougars lost the last two matches, resulting in a 4-2 loss.

Amidst the close matches, junior Vicki Simpson and senior Leila Salek pulled off victories. Simpson overcame Golden Eagle sophomore Lauren Gutterman 1-6, 6-2 and 6-4 in the number five singles match, while Salek continues to be a role model for her team with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 victory in the number one singles match against Southern Miss senior Sherry Price.

"It was very important to show the team that we could do it, (that we could) fight and come up with a win," Salek said.

"Hopefully, my team will look up to me and the confidence will rub off. I just want them to believe in themselves."

On Saturday the Cougars fell 7-0 to Texas A’M, then ranked 25th by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

They did not give up without a fight and the experience was needed for this young and inexperienced team, Severance said.

"We did not get intimidated and competed from start to finish," he said. "The A’M match was a great match for us (and) the atmosphere of playing at night in front of 700 fans was a good experience."

The Cougars have a challenging matchup in Arizona this weekend, playing Grand Canyon University on Friday, University of Arizona on Saturday and 18th-ranked Arizona State on Sunday.

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