Posted: Jan 24, 2019
GRAND CANYON AND UTRGV REPRESENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK HONORS
Grand Canyon's Lucas Grego and Emilia Occhipinti, Grand Canyon doubles team Lorenzo Fucile and Mathieu Rajaonah and UT Rio Grande Valley doubles team Katarina Sasaroga and Sandra Putz have been named the Men's and Women's Western Athletic Conference Tennis Athletes of the Week, respectively, for January 15-21.
Grego, a senior from Longwy, France, was the solo Lope to win his first two matches of the season. He defeated competition from UC Riverside, 6-0 and 6-3, followed by an opponent from Arizona 6-2, 5-7, and 6-3. The Lopes split in the outing beating UC Riverside 7-0 but losing to Arizona 5-2.
Occhipinti, a junior from Ragusa, Italy, won the clinching match in GCU's win over Drake. She was down 6-5 before winning the final three points and securing victory for the Lopes.
Fucile, a junior from Messina, Italy, and Rajaonah, a senior from Marseille, France, snagged the doubles point against UC Riverside in tiebreakers. The pair won against UC Riverside 7-6 and 6-3 and against Arizona 6-2.
Sasaroga, a freshman from Gothenburg, Sweden, and Putz, a freshman from Munich, Germany, picked up a dominating win over a Baylor opponent. The duo defeated Baylor 6-1 despite UT Rio Grande Valley falling 5-2 overall.
Other male singles nominees: UT Rio Grande Valley's Samuel de Felipe Garcia picked up his first singles win of the season over Alabama State 6-4 and 6-1.
Other female singles nominees: Nethmi Waduge of UT Rio Grande Valley earned her first singles win of her career and won UTRGV their first point against Baylor.
Other male doubles nominees: UT Rio Grande Valley's Mateo Schmit and Clément Sarradin defeated a duo from Alabama State, 7-5, to help UTRGV to their first win of the season.
Other female doubles nominees: Autumn Prudhomme and Celia Morel of Grand Canyon claimed the only doubles team win for GCU defeating a Drake pair 6-3.
2019 WAC Tournament
The 2019 WAC Men's and Women's Tennis Tournaments will be hosted by UT Rio Grande Valley on April 26-28 in Brownsville, Texas. All six teams will compete in the Tournament as the first round will be No. 4 seed against No. 5 seed and No. 3 seed takes on No. 6 seed. No. 1 and No. 2 seeds earn a ticket straight to the semifinals. The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the WAC representative. The reigning tournament champion is NM State as they defeated NM State 4-0 in the Championship match last year.
Chicago State dropped two matches losing to Xavier 3-4 and Michigan State 1-4. Against Xavier, the Cougars won doubles with Felix-Antion Savard and Jakov Suler picking up a 6-2 victory. Nicholas Liddy and George Botha won doubles as well, 6-1. George Botha and Gonzalo Martinez each won their singles matches.
Chicago State picked up their solo point against Michigan State in doubles as Liddy and Botha and Bonacia and Martinez picked up wins.
The Lopes kicked off their season with a 7-0 win over UC Riverside but then fell 2-5 to Arizona. Lorenzo Fucile defeated his UC Riverside opponent in just 43 minutes sweeping him 6-0, 6-0. Lucas Grego and Valentin Lang both won quickly as well going 6-0, 6-3 and 6-1, 6-4, respectively.
Grand Canyon battled with Arizona to win the doubles point. Fucile and Mathieu Rajaonah won 6-2 followed by a clinching 6-2 win from Grego and Freddie Grant. Grego claimed the solo singles win defeating his opponent 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
To start their 2019 campaign, Seattle U dropped two matches to Portland State, 1-6, and Oregon, 0-7. Alex Chan earned the Redhawks only win defeating Portland State's Sam Roberts in three sets, 5-7, 6-1, 10-7.
UT RIO GRANDE VALLEY
UTRGV opened their season with a split falling short to University of Alabama at Birmingham, 0-4, but bouncing back to defeat Alabama State, 4-1. In the win, Yehonatan Kaufman and Samuel de Felipe Garcia started things off with a 6-3 win. It was Mateo Schmit and Clement Sarradin who clinched the doubles point with a 7-5 win. de Felipe Garcia, and Schmit grabbed two singles outright wins, 6-4, 6-1 and 6-4, 6-2, respectively.
The 2019 Tennis National Championships will take place in Orlando, Fla. at the USTA National Campus Collegiate Center on May 16-25.