ORLANDO, Fla. (SMU) – For the third straight year, the SMU women’s tennis team advance to the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Championship after a 4-1 win against East Carolina Thursday afternoon at the USTA National Campus.
“Every member of this team did their part today and contributed,” head coach Kati Gyulai said. “We didn’t make all the shots but made the ones that mattered the most. We look forward to the playing in the semifinals.”
The Mustangs (17-6) improved to 3-0 all-time against the Pirates (12-11) and 4-0 this season against conference opponents.
SMU never trailed jumping out to a 2-0 lead after winning the doubles point and No. 2 singles. Mary Wright and Dasha Sharapova (No. 3) defeated Michelle Castro and Annija Veinsteina, 6-3, and Macie Elliott and Liza Buss (No. 2) clinched the point with a 7-5 win against Maria Gomez and Nastja Rettich. In No. 2 singles, Sarai Monarrez Yesaki came out strong winning 6-0, 6-2 against Veinsteina.
East Carolina got within one after Celia Ruiz defeated Liza Buss, 6-2, 6-0, in No. 1 singles. However, Wright and Sharapova secured the win for the Mustangs recording victories in the No. 6 and No. 4 matches, respectively. Wright defeated Nastja Rettich, 7-5, 6-3, while Ana Perez-Lopez clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Michelle Castro.
The Mustangs face No. 7 seed USF (13-10) Friday for the second straight year in the semifinals. The Bulls defeated No. 2 seed Tulane, 4-1, in its quarterfinal matchup. First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT.