Tennis pushes win streak to eight

The UH tennis squad is red hot. The Cougars opened Conference USA play with their eighth consecutive win, beating Southern Miss 6-1 on Sunday after topping non-conference foe Northwestern State 6-1 Saturday in Natchitoches, La.

The Cougars started their match against Southern Miss with a win in the No. 1 slot of the doubles competition, where sophomore Joanna Kacprzyk and senior Lynley Wasson defeated Freshman Elja van Berlo and Junior Lauren Gutterman 9-8.

Sophomore Laura Ring dropped the Cougars’ only match of the day to van Berlo (6-2, 4-6, 6-10). Sophomore Lucy Forward got UH back on track, defeating Gutterman 6-2, 6-4. Wasson topped sophomore Zoe Lee 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 4 match.

In the No. 5 singles spot, freshman Alix Young bounced back from her first loss of the season on Saturday with a 7-5, 6-4 win over sophomore Shannon Rogers. Young was pleased with her improved performance.

‘I felt better and played more stable,’ Young said.

The Cougars added to their wins when Kacprzyk beat Junior Stephanie Dellocono 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the No. 1 singles slot. Senior Vicky Simpson did not lose a game in the No. 6 singles match against freshman Sarah-Louise Ellis.

The Cougars were just as impressive against Northwestern State, taking two of three matches in the doubles competition and dropping only one set in the singles competition.

The pairs of Forward and Simpson and Wasson and Kacprzyk helped the Cougars win the competition’s doubles point. Ring and senior Jordan McCombs lost the No. 2 doubles match.

In the No. 4 singles match, Young lost her first match as a Cougar, dropping a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision to sophomore Bianca Schulz.’ ‘

‘I made a couple of mistakes, and she profited from it,’ Young said. ‘She outplayed me and played better. (Coaches) John (Severance) and Jo (Keene) talked me through my loss and helped me through it mentally.’

The Cougars swept the No. 1-3 singles slots, as Kacprzyk, Forward and Wasson all picked up straight set victories.

Junior Neila Starratt battled through a 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 win against sophomore Dragana Colic. Simpson finished a successful Saturday for UH by defeating senior Daniela Posada 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

Houston holds a 10-1 record this spring and will be back in action against Sam Houston State today at 2 p.m. at the John E. Hoff Courts.

Young said she will prepare for her match against the Bearkats by practicing making cleaner strokes and placing a greater importance on eating and sleeping.

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