Tarleton State clinches WAC Tournament 2-seed with win over rival ACU on Senior Day in regular season finale


STEPHENVILLE, Texas – One couldn’t have scripted a more perfect ending to Tarleton Tennis’ regular season on Saturday. In front of an electric crowd, the Texans defeated rival Abilene Christian 4-3 at home to clinch the No. 2 seed in the WAC Tournament. On Senior Day in which Tarleton celebrated two top players in program history, Elsa Boisson and Martha Makantasi, it was the two of them who won back-to-back singles matches to clinch the victory for the Texans.

The Texans (15-3, 6-1 WAC) finished their home campaign 9-1, including a perfect 4-0 mark at the Tarleton Tennis Facility which opened just over two weeks ago. The Texans end their reclassification period with a 23-4 mark in conference matches.

Tarleton State will play the No. 7 seed in the WAC Tournament on Thursday at 3 p.m. The 7-seed will either be Stephen F. Austin or UTRGV, who face off at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The loser of that match will be the 7-seed. The Texans can also win a share of the WAC regular season championship on Sunday if UT Arlington knocks off Grand Canyon. They will face off in Phoenix on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.

The Wildcats dropped to 7-12 overall and 4-3 in WAC play with the loss on Saturday. They will most likely be the No. 5 seed in the WAC Tournament. With a win on Saturday over Tarleton, they would have been the 2-seed.

Saturday’s match was yet another thriller between Tarleton State and ACU, the third straight since 2021-22. The teams have combined to score 11-10 over those three matches, with results of 5-2, 4-3, 4-3. This was the first time Tarleton hosted Abilene Christian since 2013.

ACU came away with the doubles point in Stephenville, thanks to consecutive wins on Courts 2-3. Tarleton started with a win on Court 1, as Maretha Burger and Makantasi defeated Masha Vrsalovic and Maria Cascos 6-4. Burger and Makantasi improved to 13-5 overall and 4-3 in conference. The Wildcats got it done on Courts 2-3, first at No. 2 as Maryjoe Crisologo and Libby Blair defeated Boisson and Ximena Morales 6-3, then ACU’s Olivia Sears and Andrea Guerrero clinched the doubles point 7-5 over Noelia Lorca and Emma Persson.

Lorca started singles play for the Texans with a comfortable victory to tie the team score 1-1. Lorca defeated Cascos 6-1 6-2 to improve to 16-2 overall this season, 6-1 in WAC play. Lorca, a first-year Texan, finished the regular season with the most singles wins on the team.

Persson then gave Tarleton the lead 2-1 with a 6-1 6-3 win on the top court over Sears.

ACU got one back at Court 6 to make it 2-2, as Blair defeated Adeliya Mukhutdinova 6-4 6-3.

Tarleton then turned to their seniors to get the team win. Boisson was first with a victory on Court 2 over Crisologo 7-6(8-6) 6-3. Boisson improved to 12-6 in singles on the season, 5-2 in WAC play.

Makantasi clinched the team victory in her final home match with a 6-2 2-6 6-3 win on Court 3 over Vrsalovic. Makantasi went 6-1 in conference singles matches, 15-3 overall through the regular season.

ACU salvaged a point at the end to make it 4-3, as Guerrero defeated Morales 4-6 6-1 6-3 on Court 5.

The Texans will wait to see who their No. 7 seed WAC Tournament opponent will be, which they will know on Sunday. The WAC Tournament begins Thursday in Harlingen, Texas, hosted by UTRGV.

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