Special to The Flash Today
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Having only five players on the active roster and spotting each of their opponents two matches hasn’t seemed to deter the No. 21 Tarleton TexAnns through their first two matches as the purple and white won their second straight match after Shelby Fillingame clinched a 5-4 win over Henderson State Friday afternoon.
“Today was an incredibly hard-fought match,” said head coach Lance Drake. “I thought we displayed a great amount of grit throughout the entire match and I’m very proud of how we competed today. It was great to see Shelby clinch the match for us. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing everything that she has to contribute to the team this year.”
The day got started on the right foot as Tarleton jumped out to a 2-1 lead following doubles action.
After giving away the No. 3 match by default, Fillingame and partner Neetika Sud evened up the action with an 8-2 win in the No. 2 match. Meanwhile, the top-seeded TexAnn tandem was deadlocked in a tight one against Henderson’s Annie Shannon and Thea Minor.
Tarleton’s Sherine Salem and Alicia Barbaroux pulled out a 9-8 victory in the top match to send the TexAnns into singles play with a 2-1 advantage, which was immediately evened up with a defaulted match in the No. 6 spot by Tarleton.
Henderson State won the No. 1 and 5 matches as Shannon defeated Barbaroux 6-3, 6-2 and Mariah Bartlett defeated Chrystalynn Shirley 6-0, 6-0, respectively. Sud and Salem had the answers for Tarleton in the No. 2 and 3 matches, respectively, as Sud knocked off Minor 6-2, 6-3 and Salem handled Sydnee Parker 6-0, 6-1 to even up the match at 4-4 with only Fillingame still playing.
The redshirt sophomore from Beach City was deadlocked in the No. 4 match against Lorraine Banimataku. Fillingame took the first set 6-2 before her Reddie counterpart answered with a 6-1 win in the second set. Fillingame clawed all the way back and clinched the win with a 7-5 victory in the final set of the day.
The complete results are as follows:
1. Sherine Salem/Alicia Barbaroux (TSU) def. Annie Shannon/Thea Minor (HSU) 9-8
2. Neetika Sud/Shelby Fillingame (TSU) def. Sydnee Parker/Mariah Bartlett (HSU) 8-2
3. Lorraine Banimataku/Lorish Puluspene (HSU) def. No player/No player (TSU), by default
1. Annie Shannon (HSU) def. Alicia Barbaroux (TSU) 6-3, 6-2
2. Neetika Sud (TSU) def. Thea Minor (HSU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Sherine Salem (TSU) def. Sydnee Parker (HSU) 6-0, 6-1
4. Shelby Fillingame (TSU) def. Lorraine Banimataku (HSU) 6-2, 1-6, 7-5
5. Mariah Bartlett (HSU) def. Chrystalynn Shirley (TSU) 6-0, 6-0
6. Lorish Puluspene (HSU) def. No player (TSU), by default
Tarleton will have a week off before hitting the road again on a western tour as the TexAnns will head to New Mexico to play NCAA Division I New Mexico State on Feb. 24 and UTEP on Feb. 25 with an afternoon tilt against New Mexico Military Institute in between.