Tarleton wins WAC Southwest Division title, sweeps UTRGV for 2nd time

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STEPHENVILLE – They did it. The Tarleton Texans are champions.

By virtue of Stephen F. Austin losing Sunday and Tarleton beating UTRGV, the Texans have locked up the 2022 Western Athletic Conference Southwest Division title. In just their second season in the conference, the Texans are the cream of the crop in the WAC.

Tarleton swept UTRGV 7-0 for the second time this year at the Potishman-Lard Tennis Courts in Stephenville, Texas, on Sunday in front of yet another amazing crowd. The Texans remained perfect in WAC play, technically 4-0 in conference, 8-0 against WAC teams this season. They are 17-4 overall on the year with six straight wins, 10 wins over their last 11 matches, and 16 wins over the last 18.

UTRGV dropped to 10-9 overall, 2-2 in WAC play. Before the Texans and Vaqueros squared off, SFA lost to Lamar, dropping the Ladyjacks to 2-2 in the WAC. That left Tarleton and UTRGV as the only teams left in the division with one or fewer losses, and if the Texans won Sunday, they’d lock up their first WAC division title.

Across all of Tarleton athletics, the women’s tennis team is the first WAC regular season champion program. The Texans came close last year, finishing second in the conference with a single WAC loss.

“It feels amazing,” head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron said. “The girls competed so hard, and it was such a fun match. So, I’m very proud of them, and this is pretty big.”

This was Tarleton’s Senior Day. The Texans opened up the festivities by honoring their three departing players, Jemi Aguilar, Deniza Marcinkevica and Faustine Palatte. All three have been vital members of the program, like they were once again Sunday.

To open the competition, the Texans won their ninth straight doubles point, sporting a perfect mark since Douglas-Miron changed up the teams way back on March 5. Aguilar and Elsa Boisson drew first blood with a 6-3 win at No. 2 over Isabelle Bahr and Katarina Sasaroga. Aguilar and Boisson are 6-2 as a pair, with Aguilar 13-4 overall in doubles herself, Boisson 14-6.

The doubles point was then clinched at the No. 3 position by Palatte and Celia Vaudiau, who defeated Sandra Putz and Kristyna Mamicova 6-3. The Texan duo, the reigning WAC Doubles Team of the Week, won their sixth straight match together, now 9-3 this year. The top flight in doubles between Tarleton’s Marcinkevica-Martha Makantasi and UTRGV’s Barbara Martinez-Marjorie Souza went unfinished with the match tied 5-5.

In singles, Makantasi dominated her opponent in the No. 3 position to put Tarleton ahead 2-0, defeating Putz 6-1, 6-2. In Makantasi’s first match against UTRGV, she won 6-0, 6-0, so against the Vaqueros in singles this season, the Tarleton sophomore was 24-3 combined in games. She won her fourth straight match to improve to 16-4 on the year.

Boisson made it 3-0 Tarleton with her 6-2, 6-2 win over Martinez at the No. 4 position. Boisson, a sophomore, is 13-7 this season.

Anna Davidson gets credit with the match – and technically conference – clincher with her 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Sasaroga at the No. 6 position. She moved to 5-4 on the year.

Marcinkevica took down Souza in the top flight 6-4, 6-2 to improve to 11-6 on the year, all at the No. 1 position.

Aguilar gritted out her win at the No. 2 position, winning in comeback fashion 3-6, 6-4, [10-6] over Bahr. The Tarleton senior won her second straight match to improve to 8-9 on the year.

And finally, Vaudiau won again – surprise, surprise. This was the Texan junior’s 19th straight victory, improving to 19-1 overall, with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win against Stefanie Wilske at the No. 5 position. After her win, the Texan team mobbed Vaudiau to celebrate the sweep and conference championship, with lots of hugs and tears of joy.

But, the season isn’t over, not just yet. There will be one match remaining for Tarleton, a road match at Abilene Christian on Saturday, April 16. If the Texans win against the Wildcats, they’ll finish their season with an undefeated conference record.

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