December 2, 2020

Webster tennis teams open seasons with victories over Maryville University

Webster University senior Kate Coen serves during a doubles match against Maryville University on Sept. 8 at the Webster Groves Tennis Center. Coen helped the Gorloks open the season with a 7-2 win over the Saints. PHOTO BY BRITTANY RUESS

Both the Webster men’s and women’s tennis squads downed Maryville by identical 7-2 scores on Sept. 8

The Webster University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams both opened the fall season with identical 7-2 victories over the Maryville University Saints, a Division II school, on Sept. 8 at the Webster Groves Tennis Center. While the Webster tennis season usually begins in the spring, this year the squads started in the fall.

“It’s going to give us good practice and get us all ready for the spring,” freshman Zach Green said.

Senior Paige Tungate said the fall season is a good way for the team to gain experience.

“Last year we didn’t have a fall season and obviously the season didn’t end the way we planned for it,” Tungate said. “I think it’s a good indicator to show what we’re capable of and what we need to work on during the winter.”

Men’s team

In doubles matches, the duo of juniors Diego Alarcon and Agustin Villalba fell 8-5 at the No. 1 spot. Junior Alex Magrath and freshman partner Josh Papes defeated their counterparts 9-7 at the No. 2 spot. The third pair of doubles consisted of Green and junior Josh Sellmeyer; they won 8-3.

In his first collegiate match, Green said he felt nervous, but eventually became relaxed to help secure the win.

“I was a bit nervous and timid, but in the end, the result was great,” Green said.

On the singles side, the juniors all came away victorious. Alarcon won 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1. Villalba swept his opponent 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2, and Magrath won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3. Sellmeyer won his singles match 6-2, 6-1.

Rounding out the victorious juniors was Wakeel Rahman, who won 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Papes lost his match at No. 4 singles, but took it to three sets: 3-6, 6-2, 4-6.

In order to keep the momentum from the first victory going, Green said the team needs to continue working hard at practice and listening to their coach, Michael Siener.

Women’s team

Not to be outdone, the women’s tennis team also started the season with a 7-2 victory over Maryville. Tungate said the women’s team has gotten better since last season.

“As a whole, I think we obviously have improved so much since last year,” Tungate said. “It’s a total 180. Every girl on the team has the ability to play any spot. There’s so much talent on the team.”

In doubles play, senior Allison Tungate and junior Lindsey Hayes won 8-4 in the No. 1 slot. Freshman Sandra Gutierrez and senior Kate Coen won 8-2 at No. 3, but freshmen Kathleen Kennedy and MacKenzie Wilder were defeated 8-3 at No. 2.

In singles matches, Hays won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3. Paige Tungate topped her opponent 6-4, 6-2, while Allison Tungate was bested in three sets 6-3, 1-6, 0-6 at No. 1. The three freshman women to play singles all won their first collegiate matches. Freshmen Marissa Lewis won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2, Lauren Hacker won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 and Isabella Espinoza was victorious 6-1, 6-0 at No. 6.

Paige Tungate said the freshmen are blending in well with the upperclassmen.

“We’ve got Allison and Kate and Lindsey, who are very cheerful and very friendly, and they know how to incorporate the girls into the team,” Paige Tungate said. “I think I do my best in showing how to work hard and where that can get you. We’re really good role models for these girls.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams continue their fall seasons  with matches against Missouri Baptist University at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Webster Groves Tennis Center. The women have eight more matches to play in the fall portion of their schedule, while the men have four matches left.

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