February 20, 2010
YellowJackets drop first match of season
LONGVIEW – It wasn't out in the "old west" this time, but the 10 th-ranked LeTourneau University men's tennis team put their "L" brand (for loss and for LeTourneau) on both No. 11 McMurry and perennial power Hardin-Simmons, Saturday at the Davis Tennis Complex.
In the morning match against McMurry, the Jackets started slow. McMurry always has some of the strongest doubles teams in the nation and it showed again against LeTourneau.
McMurry's Rainwater/Davis took court 1 quickly. Mark Taylor (Paris, Texas)/David Robbins (Corpus Christi, Texas) came up huge on court 2; winning 8-3 to even the team match. Court 3 went back and forth, before McMurry took the match in a heart breaking tiebreaker to go up 2-1, going into singles action.
Much like the power McMurry has in doubles, singles has been a strong suit for LeTourneau's men.
As singles started, LETU took advantage right away taking control of all the courts. Robbins and Taylor each finished quickly on courts 3 and 1 respectively to put the Jackets back out in front 3-2. Carlos Cantu (Brownsville, Texas) won over Rainwater on court 2, 6-3, 7-5 to go up 4-2. The clincher came moments later as Paul Haney (Corpus Christi, Texas) took out Cockrill on court 6, 6-0, 6-1. Final score, 10 th-ranked LeTourneau University 7, 11 th-ranked McMurry University 2.
There was a big crowd of more than 200 at the afternoon match as the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys came over to play. They had played No. 5 UT-Tyler earlier in the morning, losing 6-3. They were looking to get back on track and get a little revenge from a loss to the Jackets last year, out in Abilene.
Much like the morning match against McMurry, LeTourneau started slow in doubles. HSU's Cariens/Strehlow took court 1, while LETU's Taylor/Robbins handled court 2, 8-5. In a replay, court 3 went to a tight tiebreaker. This time, Uli de la Fuente (El Paso, Texas) and Wade Sinard (Corpus Christi, Texas) fought off match points before prevailing, 9-8 (8-6).
LETU relaxed and again flexed their muscles on the singles courts, sweeping all six courts to win the team match 8-1. The wins push the team's record to 7-0 overall, and 1-0 in conference play for the season.
The LeTourneau women's team, though undefeated coming into the day at 4-0, are truly young and were playing two tough teams. In the morning, against McMurry the ladies fell behind 2-0 quickly in doubles before Mary Lauren Bright (Gladewater, Texas)/Brooke Kincade (Sugar Land, Texas) came through on court 1, winning an exciting match 9-8 (12-10). They fought off four match points to get on the board.
Caitlyn Hairell (San Marcos, Texas) won on court 1, 6-4, 6-3; continuing her incredible season. It evened the overall match at 2, but ended the teams' successes for the day; McMurry took the team match 7-2.
Aside from the doubles win against McMurry, Kincade lost in a singles third set tiebreaker against McMurry and then lost 6-1, 6-4 against a highly ranked Brittany Brazell from Hardin-Simmons during the teams' 9-0 defeat to the Cowgirls. The Lady Jackets are now 4-2 overall, and 1-0 in conference play.
Both the men and women play again in Longview this week, starting 2:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Davis Tennis Complex against Mary Hardin-Baylor. On Friday, the men play at noon against NAIA powerhouse Oklahoma Wesleyan University; then both the men and women play at 4:00 p.m. against Southwestern.