Nevada Women’s tennis took on two Mountain West Conference foes this past weekend. The team first traveled to Las Vegas, on April 14 to go head-to-head with the UNLV Rebels, a match in which the team lost to their conference rival 5-2. Following their loss, the team found its way back to Reno, licked its wounds and squared off against the San Jose State Spartans at McArthur Tennis Center on April 16. Nevada redeemed itself from its UNLV loss by narrowly edging out the Spartans 4-3.
NEVADA VS UNLV
It was a warm 77-degree day in Las Vegas as the Wolf Pack took to the courts in an attempt to defeat their bitter rivals, the UNLV Rebels. The Rebels entered the match with an impressive 15-7 record, looking to improve its stats with a win against Nevada. After quick warm-ups, the doubles portion of the contest quickly began. The Pack shined in their doubles outing, but still faced stiff competition from the Rebels. Court three finished first, with UNLV’s Paola Artiga and Anna Bogoslavets defeating Nevada’s Milena Achlamov and Carlijn Ketting 6-1. Due to UNLV getting the first win, all pressure was mounted on the shoulders of the final two doubles matches, as Nevada needed to win out in order to take the doubles point. The Pack did just that as the doubles teams of Blaga Delic and Sheila Morales, along with Claudia Herrero and Adriana Gergelyova, outplayed their UNLV counterparts winning, 6-2 decisively on both courts.
With the doubles competition point in its back pocket, the Wolf Pack appeared to be in a prime position to take a conference win on a foreign court. But nothing is ever as simple as it looks on paper. UNLV came out of the starting gates firing on all cylinders for the singles matches. UNLV’s Aiwen Zhu made quick work of Gergelyova, defeating her in just two sets. The rest of the singles matches would follow suit, as UNLV drubbed Nevada on every court but one. Nevada’s Herrero’s lone win on court one saw four sets played, where Herrero won three of the four. With Nevada’s inability to perform at a high level in the singles competition, the Pack received another loss on the season, putting their record at 7-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
NEVADA VS SAN JOSE STATE
Following its devastating loss to UNLV in southern Nevada, the Pack found its way back to the northern part of the state for a home field showdown against the San Jose State Spartans. Unbeknownst to the Spartans, this would not resemble the Battle of Marathon in any way. “The 300” seems to be a more fitting comparison in this scenario. The doubles portion saw its fair share of push and pull. However, similar to that of the Persian might in the Battle of Thermopylae, Nevada was victorious nonetheless. Gergelyova and Herrero kicked doubles off by placing a gracious 7-5 loss on the front door of SJSU’s Gaelie Rey and Marine Dan’s figurative homes. The Pack now just needed to secure one final match for title rights to the doubles point for the day, which Nevada’s dynamic duo comprised of Delic and Morales accomplished as they defeated Sybille Gauvain and Marie Klocker 6-3.
The Singles match-ups came up next and were pendulum-like in nature. Nevada took the first match, as Delic thrashed Dans 6-1, 6-2. But the Spartans quickly countered as Gaelle made quick work of Achlamov. Being that it was all knotted up at one, a tie breaker was imminent. Miyo Kobayashi broke the Spartans out of the Wolf Pack’s wake for the first time all game, taking a two to one lead over the Pack with a win against Carlijn Ketting on court five. The Wolf Pack needed a spark, as it found itself down 2-1 in the singles competition.
Nevada’s Morales became the electricity Nevada needed as she came through in the clutch, defeating Klocker 7-5 in two straight sets. Singles now sat at two all. The next two team victories for SJSU would win the Spartans the game, and Nevada just needed to split the two remaining matches to walk away with a win. Much like a Spartan, SJSU refused to go down easily as Tamara Culibrk defeated Gergelyova in a long 3 set battle. With momentum rising for the Spartans it all came down to Herrero versus the No. 84 ranked tennis player in the nation, Gauvain. Herrero started off strong but lost the first two sets to Gauvain, 6-7 and 5-7 respectively. Herrero then came back in the third set, defeating Gauvain 6-4. During the fourth set Herrero found herself up 3-1 when Gauvain walked over to the chair umpire to retire, giving Herrero her second win over a top-100 opponent within three days. Nevada’s 4-3 nail-biter victory against San Jose State brought Nevada back to .500 on the season overall and 2-1 in Mountain West play.
Nevada will travel to Fresno, CA, to take on the Bull Dogs of Fresno State on Apr. 22. This game will conclude their regular season as the team looks towards Mountain West Championship play in Las Vegas, NV, from Apr. 27-30.