ABILENE, Texas (Feb. 8, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian’s new-look women’s tennis team started strong Friday with a pair of season-opening wins.
OC rolled past McMurry (Texas) 8-1 in a morning match, then dispatched NCAA Division III power Trinity (Texas) 7-2 in the afternoon.
OC (2-0) is coming off a season during which the Lady Eagles reached the NAIA semifinals for the first time. But the university has left the NAIA and started the NCAA Division II membership process and the squad has only two returning players this season, meaning there was more mystery than usual surrounding the Lady Eagles.
Still, it didn’t take long for the Lady Eagles to establish their dominance as they rolled past Heartland Conference rival McMurry. One of the two returnees, sophomore Gabriela Carrillo, didn’t drop a single game, teaming with Rebeca Aguilar Dominguez to win 8-0 over Salitza Abrantes and Sydney Gonzalez, then downing Abrantes 6-0, 6-0 in singles at the No. 4 position.
The Lady Eagles dropped only eight games in the three doubles matches and top four singles matches combined against McMurry (1-2).
The only close matches came at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions, and OC and the War Hawks split those. At No. 5, OC’s Angie Torres Quezada beat Brandy Curry 7-5, 6-3, and at No. 6, McMurry’s Autumn Patterson knocked off Aguilar Domingez 7-5, 7-6.
Trinity (1-1) was No. 15 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s preseason Division III rankings but OC still cruised to an easy win over the Tigers.
The Lady Eagles took all three doubles matches, with OC’s top duo – No. 13-ranked Barbora Bozkova and Torres Quezada – rolling to an 8-2 win over Mackenzie Knoop and Thavindra Ekanayake.
Bozkova, ranked No. 20 in Division II, was one of three OC players to record straight-set singles wins, beating Knoop 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 1 position. At No. 2, OC newcomer Gisela Castany beat Ekanayake 6-0, 6-4, and at No. 5, Carrillo downed Kristy Hamilton 6-4, 6-2.
The Lady Eagles will face a stiffer challenge on Saturday when they visit Division II No. 3-ranked Abilene Christian (Texas).