Griffons have strong recovery over weekend

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Western tennis made a quick recovery over the weekend after falling hard.

The Griffons opened up the weekend on Friday, April 15 against the Bearcats of Southwest Baptist.

In singles matches, Southwest Baptist cleaned up with a complete sweep. Yasmine El Ghazi fell 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 1 spot. At the No. 2 spot, Sarah Giraldo fell 6-0, 6-0. Sofia Aguilera couldn’t claim a victory in the No. 3 spot, losing 6-0, 6-2. Joanna Abreu Roman narrowly missed out on a victory, losing 6-3, 7-6.

Western still couldn’t gain traction in doubles matches. El Ghazi and Aguilera fell 8-1 in the No. 1 spot. Giraldo and Abreu Roman took a 8-2 loss in the No. 2 spot.

The 9-0 loss would be the Griffons third straight loss of the season, and the first three-game skid since 2013-14.

Head coach Shawn Becker knew how difficult the match would be going into it on Friday.

“Southwest is a good team and they’re a different type of good team,” Becker said. “We haven’t really played against that type of player. These were girls that could go out…and hit their spots…It was the most emotional our team has ever gotten. There were a couple tears afterwards.”

Despite taking a hard loss, a bit of good came from Friday’s match. Aguilera was injured during the match, however she powered through and finished her singles and doubles matches.

“We also had an injury that popped up,” Becker said. “That kind of got everybody freaked out. When somebody falls down crying right away, you’re like, ‘What is going on?’ Luckily, it’s not much of an issue. Sofia got back up. She finished her doubles match; she played singles no problem. So, we rested her on Satuday.”

Western would look to recover the next day against Lincoln University.

It was the Griffon turn to sweep the competition. They cleaned up the singles matches, winning all six. El Ghazi claimed her match at No. 1 6-0, 6-0. Giraldo took a 6-0, 6-2 victory at the No. 2 spot. Abreu Roman cleaned up the No. 3 spot 6-1, 6-0. Meara Smith took the No. 4 spot 6-0, 6-0. Denise Chiao and Lindsay Beger took the No. 5 and 6 spots with 6-0, 6-0 victories respectively.

Western continued the sweep going into doubles matches.

El Ghazi and Aguilera took the No. 1 spot with a convincing 8-1 victory. Beger and Giraldo claimed the No. 2 spot victory with an 8-2 score. Chiao and Abreu Roman took No. 3 with a 8-0 win.

For the second time this season, the Griffons took a 9-0 victory.

“We knew we out-matched Lincoln and it was a matter of us not losing games,” Becker said. “I wasn’t asking for perfection, but I didn’t want us to lose any points, any games, that we shouldn’t be losing.”

This win snapped their losing streaking at put them at 9-5 overall.

“We risk this new sense of expectation on us with a regional ranking last week and trying to build up momentum here for our match against Lindenwood, and then playoffs,” Becker said. “We wrapped up a playoff spot, we’ll be there, we’re just working on seeding at this point. We know how big Sunday is against Lindenwood.”

Western will close out the regular season with senior day this Sunday, April 24 against Lindenwood. The Griffons will be sending off Beger, Chiao, Smith and Giraldo as they finish up their careers as Griffons.