Jan 24, 2019
GRAND CANYON AND UTRGV REPRESENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK HONORS
Grand Canyon's Lucas Grego and Emilia Occhipinti, Grand Canyon doubles team Lorenzo Fucile and Mathieu Rajaonah and UT Rio Grande Valley doubles team Katarina Sasaroga and Sandra Putz have been named the Men's and Women's Western Athletic Conference Tennis Athletes of the Week, respectively, for January 15-21.
Grego, a senior from Longwy, France, was the solo Lope to win his first two matches of the season. He defeated competition from UC Riverside, 6-0 and 6-3, followed by an opponent from Arizona 6-2, 5-7, and 6-3. The Lopes split in the outing beating UC Riverside 7-0 but losing to Arizona 5-2.
Occhipinti, a junior from Ragusa, Italy, won the clinching match in GCU's win over Drake. She was down 6-5 before winning the final three points and securing victory for the Lopes.
Fucile, a junior from Messina, Italy, and Rajaonah, a senior from Marseille, France, snagged the doubles point against UC Riverside in tiebreakers. The pair won against UC Riverside 7-6 and 6-3 and against Arizona 6-2.
Sasaroga, a freshman from Gothenburg, Sweden, and Putz, a freshman from Munich, Germany, picked up a dominating win over a Baylor opponent. The duo defeated Baylor 6-1 despite UT Rio Grande Valley falling 5-2 overall.
Other male singles nominees: UT Rio Grande Valley's Samuel de Felipe Garcia picked up his first singles win of the season over Alabama State 6-4 and 6-1.
Other female singles nominees: Nethmi Waduge of UT Rio Grande Valley earned her first singles win of her career and won UTRGV their first point against Baylor.
Other male doubles nominees: UT Rio Grande Valley's Mateo Schmit and Clément Sarradin defeated a duo from Alabama State, 7-5, to help UTRGV to their first win of the season.
Other female doubles nominees: Autumn Prudhomme and Celia Morel of Grand Canyon claimed the only doubles team win for GCU defeating a Drake pair 6-3.
2019 WAC Tournament
The 2019 WAC Men's and Women's Tennis Tournaments will be hosted by UT Rio Grande Valley on April 26-28 in Brownsville, Texas. All six teams will compete in the Tournament as the first round will be No. 4 seed against No. 5 seed and No. 3 seed takes on No. 6 seed. No. 1 and No. 2 seeds earn a ticket straight to the semifinals. The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the WAC representative. The reigning tournament champion is NM State as they defeated NM State 4-0 in the Championship match last year.
Chicago State lost to Akron, 2-5, followed by another loss to Oakland, 1-6. Kristina Pukhaeva picked up the Cougars first point against Akron with a win over Anna Uljanov. Lizi Morgoshia snagged the other win for CSU winning 6-4 and 6-2. Diana Borodina was the only Cougar to earn a win over Oakland with scores of 6-1 and 6-2.
The Lopes started their season with a 0-7 loss to Texas A&M but responded with a 4-3 win over Drake. GCU lost the doubles point to Drake but came back in singles for the victory. Celina Buhr won her match in two sets 6-4, 6-2. Emilia Occhipinti, Celia Morel, and Autum Prudhomme all won their singles matches to earn the team victory.
UT RIO GRANDE VALLEY
UT Rio Grande Valley was defeated twice by Sam Houston State and Baylor. UTRGV jumped out to a 1-0 lead over Sam Houston State as they swept through doubles, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6. The doubles point would be the only UT Rio Grande Valley would claim against Sam Houston State. Nethmi Waduge and Sandra Putz posted the only two points for UTRGV against Baylor as they both won their singles matches, 6-2, 6-2.
The 2019 Tennis National Championships will take place in Orlando, Fla. at the USTA National Campus Collegiate Center on May 16-25.