Tennis team improving ranks

ALEX DAVIS Staff Writer

With only a few weeks until the Southern States Athletic Conference championship tournament, Loyola’s tennis team has been improving and winning more sets. After a loss to Shorter University on March 11, the team bounced back and beat Baker University. The men’s team won 6-3, and the women’s team won 5-4.

Both the team and its opponents have improved in skill, so many of the players had to play an extra set as a tiebreaker. Economics junior Devon Belcher ended up playing three sets. He won 6-4, lost 3-6 and then won 10-5 in the tiebreaker set. Men’s captain and chemistry junior Joshua Laviolette also ended up playing three sets but lost 3-6 in the third set.

Playing against Baker was also unusual because many of Loyola’s team members won their matches by default when their opponents didn’t show up.

Philosophy junior Joshua Washington and political science freshman Eduardo Garcia were able to spend more time practicing that day, as both their singles and doubles opponents failed to show up, giving them the victories by default.

In women’s tennis, marketing senior Alexandra Chater and her partner, political science sophomore Chelsea Keene, also won both their singles and doubles match by default.

Both the men’s and women’s teams’ last home game was against Xavier University on Saturday, March 17. General studies sophomore Emanuel Benjamin had the only Loyola win, as he received his victory by default. The women’s team lost 0-9 against Xavier.

The last time the two teams played each other was March 25, 2011. The men’s team lost to Xavier, 0-9 while the women’s team lost 3-7, winning two matches by default.

Loyola’s next two conference matches will be at home against William Carey University on March 24 at 10 a.m. and against Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss. on April 14.

Loyola last played William Carey in February 2011 when both the men’s and women’s teams lost 0-9. The last match against Belhaven ended the same way, with both of Loyola’s teams losing 1-8.

The SSAC tournament starts Thursday, April 19 in Montgomery, Ala. The tournament rosters have not been released yet.

Alex Davis can be reached at [email protected]