Women’s tennis defeats Grand Canyon, falls to Seattle in WAC Tournament

Senior Presentation for Sylvia Viljoen, Danielle Viljoen, Ileana Mocciola, and Allison Stewart Brown

The Wildcats fall to Seattle in the Western Athletic Conference Championships semifinals putting a close to the season.

Going into the tournament, the women were ranked eigth and held a 2-4 conference record and a 9-12 overall record. The Wildcats met the regular-season champion, Grand Canyon in the quarterfinals where they secured the win, 4-3.

“It was a good season,” head coach Bryan Rainwater said. “I think that the way it ended was disappointing but we don’t have any real regrets. I am really proud of the girls and how they worked this season. “

In doubles, No. 2 doubles were Eva Arranz, sophomore from Capetown, South Africa, and Ileana Mocciola, senior from General Roca, Rio Negro, Argentina, and they fell to GCU 3-6, giving Grand Canyon the first point. No. 33 doubles were Maryjoe Crisologo, sophomore from Surrey, British Columbia, and Andrea Guerrero, sophomore from Mexico City, Mexico, who secured the win 6-4, tying the score, 1-1. The No. 1 doubles, Allison Stewart, senior from Midland, and Sylvia Viljoen, senior from Jackson, Mississippi, were the deciding factor going into singles. They lost in a tiebreaker 7-6 (7-5), putting ACU down going into singles.

No. 1 Guerrero was the first to gain a singles win, 6-2, 6-4, to put the Wildcats back in the running. Next, No. 2 Stewart came off the court with another win, 6-2, 6-4, giving ACU one win closer to a dual win. No. 2 Viljoen and No. 1 Crisologo both lost their matches, but No. 6 Paula Garrote, freshman from Cartagena, Colombia, and No. 5 Mocciola were there to back them up with their wins, giving the Wildcats the upset win over Grand Canyon.

“I think that was overall one of the best matches we have played all year,” Rainwater said. “It was another 4-3 matches so being able to pull through was a really big thing.”

ACU then headed into the semifinals against Seattle, where they lost 3-4.

Seattle won two out of the three doubles, putting them in a lead early on above the Wildcats. Garrote was the first Wildcat to give ACU a singles win with a sweeping score of 6-2, 6-1. Viljoen in the third singles spot gained another victory 6-3, 6-1, putting the Wildcats in front of Seattle. The next two matches fell for ACU, giving Seattle the lead again, 3-2. Yet, Mocciola was able to tie up the score with a tough first set win of 7-6, 6-1. Stewart was the last match to play and with the force of a third set, the Wildcats lost in the third set 2-6.

“The seniors were incredible,” Rainwater said. “I think the motto for the group is resilience and I hope that’s something that the younger ones will pick up. Be able to learn from for the years to come because that’s one thing you need is the will to fight and unity. “

The women closed their 2022 season with a loss but were the first eight-seed to ever upset a one-seed in the WAC Tournament.

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