By Albert Monge, Contributing Writer (Courtesy photo/Bison Athletics)
The Oklahoma Baptist men’s tennis team traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas to compete in the Great American Conference tournament on Friday, April 20.
The Bison met Harding University in the fi rst round, a team that dominated OBU 1-5 just a week prior.
“We knew that we were going to have to come out focused and ready to play,” sophomore Gianlucca Galdi said. “They are a really solid team.”
Though the Bison entered the contest ready for action, Harding proved too much in the doubles matches.
Harding took a commanding 3-0 lead over OBU after sweeping all of the doubles competitions.
“It was really unlucky that we weren’t able to take a doubles match from them,” junior Lucas Branco said. “The good thing was that we didn’t give up. The team really rallied and made a push for a big comeback.”
Sophomore Kevin Andrusch was the first Bison in the win column with a win at No. 4 singles, 6-1, 6-0.
“After the team got a win, the team’s confidence sky-rocketed,” Branco said. “After falling behind, we knew that our margin for error was very small.”
As the matches continued, so did the comeback. Senior Babji Atturu overcame a 4-1 deficit to give OBU another win, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 6 singles to close the gap on Harding.
At No. 1 singles, Galdi took care of business, winning in three sets 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.
At No. 3 singles, sophomore Matias Le Fort was leading, but Harding clinched the win after winning at No. 2 singles, ending the Bison’s bid for an epic comeback.
“I was really proud of the team and the desire to comeback that everyone showed,” Galdi said. “This team is very special and fought for each other every match this season.”
The final score in the semi-final matchup was 5-3, Harding.
Unfortunately, the Bison were unable to repeat as Great American Conference tournament champions, but that doesn’t take away from the team’s accomplishments this season.
“Trying to repeat as champions is always very difficult,” Branco said. “Although we weren’t able to win, I’m still proud to be a Bison and a member of this team.”
The GAC championship will be played between Harding and Southeastern Oklahoma State Saturday, April 21.
For the Bison, their final match of the season will be Tuesday, April 24 versus Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas.
The Oklahoma Baptist women’s tennis team won their first ever Great American postseason championship after defeating Southeastern State University 5-2 on Saturday, April 22.
“It is a really good feeling to win something for the first time,” junior Alex Bowers said. “The biggest key to winning was getting quick starts in our doubles matches and coming out strong in all of our matches.”
After falling behind 2-1 in doubles to Harding the day before in the semi-finals.
However, the Lady Bison wrote a new script against Southeastern Oklahoma State, winning two out of the three doubles matches to take an early lead.
The duo of senior Kateryna Shkot and sophomore Kim Moosbacher earned a win at No. 1 doubles, 8-5.
Also, sophomore Tahlia Walsh and junior Madeleine Boepple secured an 8-6 victory at No. 2 doubles.
“The team really came out and performed when it mattered most today,” Moosbacher said. “Everyone was fully focused, and dialed in on every play.”