A lot of emotions filled the air in a tough match between the ETSU women’s tennis team and Furman on Saturday.
The match was a big one because the winner would be named the Southern Conference regular season champion, and it was easy to tell that both teams were ready to give it their all.
Adding to the intensity, Saturday’s game was the last home match for ETSU’s three seniors: Lyn Yee Choo (Kuching, Malaysia), Ana Gerbasi (Caracas, Venezuela) and Regina Nychytailova (Maripol, Ukraine).
The seniors were introduced with their past accomplishments and received gifts from teammates.
Doubles competition started first, and the Bucs seemed to be having a tough time getting the ball rolling.
Furman’s Ansley Speaks and Katarina Weymouth defeated Choo and Gerbasi, 6-4.
Gabby Rodriguez and Blair Martin defeated ETSU’s Ioanna Markesini (Athens, Greece) and Marina Espana (Castellar Del Valles, Spain), 6-4, and Furman’s Harper Caswell and Karlee Bryde defeated Melissa Esguerra (Derrimutt, Australia) and Nychytailova, 7-5.
This was the first time ETSU lost all three doubles matches this year. The last time was on April 26, 2015, against Samford.
The team began to pick up some W’s as Espana kicked things off with a singles competition win over Bryde, 6-3 in the first set and 6-2 in the second.
Following Espana’s victory, ETSU pulled away with two more wins in singles competition.
Markesini defeated Furman’s Martin at the No. 3 spot, and Esguerra defeated Furman’s Rodriguez in the No. 5 spot.
These three wins put the Bucs in good standing to win the match, but a match that went to three sets between Furman’s Weymouth and ETSU’s Nychytailova ended in a Furman victory to give the Paladins the title of regular season champions.
With this loss, the Bucs ended the season with a 17-2 overall record and 6-1 conference record.
This puts ETSU in the No. 2 spot in next weekend’s SoCon Tournament in Chattanooga, where they will face No. 7-seed Mercer on Friday at 3 p.m.
The Bucs played Mercer earlier this season on March 12 and defeated the Bears, 4-3.
Last year when the team went to the SoCon Championship, they were defeated in the final round by Samford, 4-1.
The Bucs look to end this season on a different note than last year’s and bring home the gold.