LAKE CHARLES – The McNeese Cowgirls kept their hopes alive for their first-ever women's tennis Southland Conference championship after downing Lamar by a 5-2 score on Tuesday afternoon at the Nancy Hank Tennis Center.
The victory was the eighth in the last nine outings for the Cowgirls as they improve to 14-3 overall and 9-1 in conference play. Lamar fell to 4-14 and 2-7 in the league. McNeese will go for at least a share of the regular season title on Saturday when it closes out the regular season at home against Nicholls at 1 p.m. A win over Nicholls will not only give the Cowgirls their first-ever title, but will also give the program their first league 10-win season since 2014 when they posted a 10-2 conference mark and finishing one game out of first place.
McNeese cruised to win the doubles point, needing just two matches to lock down the point. In the number three spot, McNeese's Charoline Erlandsson and Phonexay Chitdara defeated Lamar's Anita Bozhko and Natalia Molina 6-3 to give McNeese and early doubles lead.
Finishing next in the number one spot Sarah Jurakova and Hannah Brett would go on to defeat the Cardinal duo of Amelie Vossgaetter and Jasmin Buchta 6-3 to secure the doubles point and give McNeese an early 1-0 team lead.
McNeese's Giovanna Fioretti and Marija Mastilovic finished their doubles match with no result against Sanja Jolic and Kaela Di Giulio.
The Cowgirls would start singles play strong and never look back.
In the number five spot, Erlandsson defeated her Cardinal counterpart Molina in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 to give the Cowgirls the 2-0 lead on the day.
Finishing second in the number one position Lamar's Buchta would get the best of Fioretti, defeating her 6-3, 6-1 to give the Cardinals their first point of the day.
In the number three spot and finishing third McNeese's Brett would triumph over Vossgaetter in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
With the Cowgirls leading 3-1, Jurakova would secure the team victory for the Cowgirls with a win over Jolic in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
In the number four spot, Mastilovic would fall to Giulio 5-7, 1-6 in straight sets, giving Lamar their second and final point of the day.
Closing out the match in the number six spot Chitdara would defeat Milena Belianovich 6-1 in their first set before dropping the second 2-6. Chitdara would rally back from the loss and win the final set by a score of 10-7.
"I'm very proud of our collective effort," said head coach Helena Besovic. "We keep demonstrating a lot of character and maturity on the court. This week we will get back to hard work in practice so that we are prepared for the upcoming matches."
The Cowgirls will close out Southland Conference play on Sunday when they face Nicholls at 1 p.m.
The Cowgirls will be looking to secure their first 10-win conference season since 2014.
Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.