The Nevada Wolf Pack Women’s Tennis team played their final match of its season in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a 4-2 loss to the Wyoming Cowgirls.
Although the season did end on a sour note, Nevada now boasts two players who have been named to the All-Mountain West singles team in Sheila Morales and Claudia Herrero. Along with this accolade, Morales and her double partner Blaga Delic made the All-MW doubles team as well. But the team’s most prominent achievement came on the heels of an impressive season by Wolf Pack junior Herrero. Herrero was named Mountain West Player of the year after defeating two top-100 tennis players in the Mountain West conference, along with 17 single season victories. She is now ranked No. 108 according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Nevada began its season on Jan. 21, in Fullerton, CA, for its first one-on-one match of the season against Cal State. Cal State and Nevada began their match with the doubles competition, in which Cal State took the first of the three match-ups, placing the Pack in an early hole that would reflect much of the remainder of the match. Nevada’s Herrero and her partner Carlijn Ketting brought the team back into contention for the doubles point, with a win over their Cal State counterparts. Even with Herrero and Ketting’s victory, Delic and Morales failed to win their bout, ultimately giving Cal State the edge going into the singles matches. During this part of the season, Nevada boasted two top-100 tennis players in Morales at No. 73 and Herrero at No. 66. Even with Nevada’s studs leading the way, the Pack only won two of its six singles matches. This loss would be the first and last until Feb. 17.
Jan. 22- Feb. 16
Following the Cal State Fullerton loss, the Pack looked towards UC Irvine in Irvine, CA, the very next day. Prepared to bounce back, Nevada was forced to wait until Feb. 11 before they could play their next match of the season against Santa Clara in Santa Clara, CA, due to a cancellation against UC Irvine and a postponement of its match against Pacific. Although it was an elongated rest period, Nevada seemed to thrive from this portion of time with no games. The Pack came back stronger than ever against Santa Clara, garnering wins in just about every match-up, with the lone loss coming as Sheila Morales dropped her singles match against Santa Clara’s Madison Clarke.
After its 6-1 victory over Santa Clara, Nevada packed up and made its way to Sacramento, CA, for its game against Sacramento State. The Pack again made their presence known in double competition, as all three of its doubles pairs took home a victory. The singles match was far closer, with Sac State and the Pack splitting the matches, three wins a piece. Had Nevada failed to perform as well as they did in the doubles competition, Sac State may have come away with a win.
At this point Nevada seemed to be hitting its stride, looking as if it had finally found the winning formula. Just four days after its win in Sacramento, the Pack made its way to Phoenix, AZ, in hopes of continuing its win streak. Nevada did just that, notching a close 4-3 victory over Grand Canyon University. The Pack now sat comfortably at 3-1, and the season appeared to be mighty promising.
Pack Women’s tennis was on a roll, with no end in sight. But all good things must come to an end at some point, so was true when Nevada took on No. 17 ranked Arizona State. Arizona State was expected to dominate the Pack in every facet of the game on paper and in this instance, paper seemed to be the true determinant. Arizona State swept the Pack 7-0, handing the team its first loss since Jan. 21.
Feb. 17- Feb. 26
After Nevada took an L against Arizona State, the team would fail to bounce back, as it strung together loss after loss for four straight games. North Texas blanked the Pack in Denton, TX, handing them a brutal 7-0 defeat. The Pack stayed in the Lone Star state after being drubbed, for its next loss against the SMU Mustangs. Nevada performed exceptionally in the doubles portion of the SMU match but dropped the ball come singles match-ups, losing the match 4-3. The Pack received a much needed week long break before jumping back on the road to head to Provo, UT, to take on the BYU Cougars. BYU came out with some fire during doubles play, as they took the first two matches quickly, never allowing Nevada’s Morales and Adriana Gergelyova to finish their match. After being down 1-0, the Pack needed to take four of the six matches in the singles portion of the game to win and fell just one win short. This gave Nevada its fourth loss in a row and their strong 3-1 record soon became an unexciting 3-5.
Mar. 5- Apr. 22
The Pack’s four-game losing skid was disheartening but did not dictate the remainder of its season. Come March 5, the Wolf Pack earned its first win in almost a month against Weber State, in Ogden, UT, 5-2. Nevada replicated that score just five days later at home against UC Davis, giving Nevada a .500 record. After protecting home court against UC Davis, the tennis team went on to trade a loss for a win for the remainder of the year. The two were interchangeable for the Pack, as neither a win or loss streak came to fruition for the rest of the season.
After its final defeat of the regular season coming against Fresno State on Apr. 22, Nevada found its way to Las Vegas, NV, to compete in Mountain West Championship play. The Pack couldn’t gain any traction during doubles play, as they lost on both courts two and three, handing the doubles point to the Cowgirls. Delic and Morales played their final doubles match as a duo, ending their doubles career with 44 victories. Nevada needed to be nothing short of perfect in the singles competition to win the game, but with just two wins in singles play, the Pack lost to the Cowgirls 4-2 in their final game of their ’16-’17 campaign.