SIUE Prepares for OVC Women’s Tennis Championship

2022 Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Tennis Championship
[4] SIUE (16-4, 4-3 OVC)
Match 21: vs. Murray State Friday, April 29 // 10 am CT // Evansville, Ind.
Match 22: Semifinal Saturday, April 30 // 10 am CT // Evansville, Ind.
Match 23: Final Sunday, May 1 // 10 am CT // Evansville, Ind.
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IT’S TOURNEY TIME
For the first time since 2017, SIUE tennis has secured a berth in the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Tennis Championship, to be held from Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1 in Evansville, Indiana. The Cougars enter the Championship as the number-four seed and will meet fifth-seeded Murray State in the quarterfinal round. SIUE has an all-time record of 4-2 in the OVC tournament, and has not lost in the conference tournament since the 2015 edition. The last time the Cougars saw postseason action was in 2017, when SIUE took down No. 4 seed Eastern Illinois before trouncing No. 2 seed Eastern Kentucky in the final to claim its second-consecutive OVC crown.

LAST TIME OUT
The Cougars needed a win to secure a top-four seed, and they got exactly what the doctor ordered with a 7-0 victory over in-state foe Eastern Illinois last Friday afternoon. The victory saw SIUE lock up its first winning record in OVC play since 2017.

TRIPLE DOUBLES
SIUE’s potent doubles play was recognized as the best in the Ohio Valley Conference for two consecutive weeks to start the season, as Caitlyn Sporing and Melissa Vizcardo’s impressive efforts garnered the duo’s first OVC Doubles Team of the Week honors for the week of February 21. This award followed the announcement, which saw Vanessa Reinicke and Jordan Schifano earn Doubles Team of the Week the week prior. And two weeks ago, the team of Jill Lambrechts and Maria Thibault became the third-different SIUE doubles team to claim OVC Doubles Team of the Week honors. The Cougars won three of the first four Doubles Team of the Week honors awarded by the OVC this season, becoming the first program in league history to accomplish the feat.

CONSISTENT IMPROVEMENT
Since assuming the helm of the SIUE tennis program, Head Coach Adam Albertsen has seen the Cougars improve at a pace matched by few other programs in Division I tennis.

Albertsen oversaw a six-win increase during his first season, followed by a three-win improvement in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign. In the 2021 spring season, the Cougars reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2016. And now in his fourth season in Edwardsville, the program has more than doubled its win total from his first season, reaching 16 wins entering postseason play.

HISTORY MADE
The Cougars put together their best start in six seasons and their second-best start in the program’s Division I era with nine consecutive wins to begin the 2022 season.

  1. 2016-17 (21-0)
  2. 2021-22 (9-0)
  3. 2020-21 (3-0)
    2011-12 (3-0)

SCOUTING THE RACERS

Just like the Cougars, the Murray State Racers enter Friday’s fixture with plenty of momentum. Since SIUE shut out the Racers on April 9, Murray State has won three of their last four matches. Included in those victories is a 4-3 win at No. 2 seed Southeast Missouri, as well as a 5-2 win over No. 1 seed Austin Peay which denied the Governors a perfect OVC season.

MSU Projected Lineup (and result in match vs. SIUE)

Doubles
1. Stasya Sharapova / Natalie Slezakova (DNP)
2. Sarah Bureau / Annika Pschorr (SIUE won 6-2)
3. Gabrielle Geolier / Jordi Montero (DNP)

Singles
1. Stasya Sharapova (SIUE won 7-6, 7-5)
2. Sarah Bureau (SIUE won 4-6, 6-1, 6-3)
3. Annika Pschorr (SIUE won 6-3, 6-4)
4. Natalie Slezakova (DNP)
5. Gabrielle Geolier (SIUE won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3)
6. Jordi Montero (SIUE won 2-6, 6-3, 6-4)

WEATHER PERMITTING
If inclement weather prevents the match from being conducted outdoors, the Championship will instead be held at the Evansville Tennis Center. In this event, SIUE’s quarterfinal match against Murray State will be played at 1:30 pm CT Friday.

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