Griffons give seniors victorious send off

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Sunday, April 24 was senior day for the Griffons. In their final home match of the season, Lindsay Beger, Denise Chiao, Sarah Giraldo and Meara Smith were able to go out in a big way against Lindenwood.

In singles matches, both squads were neck and neck.

Western claimed a win in the No. 1 spot when Lindenwood’s Anna Barbasheva left the match due to injury. Yasmine El Ghazi won the match 6-3, 5-0. Sofia Aguilera took the No. 3 spot 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Joanna Abreu Roman took the No. 4 spot 6-1, 6-0.

Head coach Shawn Becker was more than happy with how his squared performed in singles matches.

“Yas [Yasmine], she would’ve won that second set 6-0 if it wasn’t for the injury default,” Becker said. “Yas was nothing less than impressive…Joanna, 6-0, 6-1, that match literally took 20 minutes…Sofia, she grew up from a first set where she didn’t know what she was doing, to a second set where she was so determined, to a third set where she got distracted by something off court for one point. That little distraction, it scared her enough that she just ran the ship the rest of the way.”

The Griffons sealed their senior day victory over the Lions in doubles matches.

Aguilera and El Ghazi took the No. 1 spot in an intense match. They started out down 6-3, and came out to win 9-7. Abreu Roman and Giraldo claimed the No. 2 spot 8-3.

Becker believes that doubles was really what made the difference in their game.

“Doubles was huge,” Becker said. “Sarah and Joanna…they played doubles, and they won. When we work together, when we set each other up, Yas and Sofia are a scary doubles team…They knocked it out of the park.”

The Griffons took home a 5-4 victory over the Lions on senior day.

“That was totally different than any of our other 5-4 matches this year,” Becker said. “It was a huge momentum swing…They [Lindenwood] played Northwest so tough on Saturday and I was a little nervous about coming in. I didn’t know how hungry they’d be coming into the match.

Becker was thankful for the support shown to his squad on senior day.

“A huge shout out to the administration that was there from all over campus,” Becker said. “We had the International Student office out there. We had Gold Coat members we’d never seen at tennis matches before. So, that was huge.”

Western has locked a spot in the MIAA Tournament. They will head to Springfield, Missouri on April 29-May 1.