SIUE Women Split Final OVC Weekend
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The SIUE women's tennis team earned a split on the final Ohio Valley Conference weekend defeating Southeast Missouri 4-3 after dropping a 6-1 match to UT Martin.
The Cougars (7-13, 2-7 OVC) opened the final weekend against UT Martin (7-10, 6-1 OVC) Saturday afternoon.
With the match moved indoors due to thunderstorms in the area, SIUE failed to earn the doubles point. The No. 3 team ofJoanna Corkern and Amanda Miller was the only duo to win as they held on for an 8-6 victory over UT Martin's Katie McCall and Johanie Van Zyl.
Rachel Webb picked up the lone point for the Cougars as she needed three sets to defeat the Skyhawks' Anna Winkelmann 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8) at the No. 3 singles position.
SIUE reversed its fortunes on Sunday despite heavy winds at the SIUE Tennis Courts closing its first season in the OVC with a 4-3 victory over SEMO (5-12, 2-7 OVC).
Playing singles first as rain again threatened, the teams split the six matches, including a dramatic come-from-behind win for senior Carli Connors.
Connors faced the Redhawks' Nikole Novikova at No. 1 singles and won the opening set 6-2 before dropping the second 6-4. In the third set, the Belleville native fell behind 5-1 and fought off four match points before rallying back to win.
"Carli stepped up to the challenge today," added Coomer. "Her experience, as one of the seniors, allowed her to pull through a tough three-set match. Her attitude was what every coach wants to see on the court in critical moments."
Webb remained perfect on the weekend with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over SEMO's Jessica Courtnell at the No. 3 position.
Corkern shut out Lauren Schaper 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6 singles evening the match score at three and forcing the match to be decided in doubles.
After SIUE and SEMO split the top two positions, it came down to the No. 3 spot where Corkern and Miller came up with another critical win 8-4 over Elizabeth Nyenwe and Schaper clinching the match 4-3 for the Cougars.
"I'm proud of how well Joanna and Amanda played all weekend," said Coomer. "They found a way to pull out a victory with a ton of pressure on them to clinch the match. They played better and better as the match went on."
SIUE still has two non-conference matches on the docket starting with Nebraska Omaha Thursday at 3 pm.