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SIUE Rallies Past UT Martin

McKenzie Thomas
McKenzie Thomas

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE women's tennis won its third straight dual match Sunday with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over UT Martin at the SIUE Tennis Courts.

SIUE won four singles matches, including a three-set thriller by McKenzie Thomas at No. 6 singles.

"I couldn't be more proud of how the team rebounded today after doubles," said SIUE Head Coach Jason Coomer. "They never quit. They played with a lot of intensity and didn't succumb to the pressure."

The Cougars fell behind by a point early by dropping two of three doubles matches.

SIUE, which improved to 9-8 overall and 4-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference, picked up singles wins from Mia Frogner, Lexi Aranda, Haley Ilcewicz, and Thomas.

Thomas was down a set to UT Martin's Katie McCall but found a way back into the match. She lost the first set 6-2 and then tied it up with a 7-6 victory in the second set. After blanking McCall 7-0 in the second-set tiebreaker, Thomas cruised in the third set 6-1.

"McKenzie hung in and played stronger and stronger as the day went on," said Coomer. "Her intensity was there all day. She put the team on her shoulders and helped us get the 4-3 win."

Frogner pulled SIUE back into a 1-1 tie by being the first player to finish. She finished off Sarah Candeloro 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.

"Mia continued her strong play," Coomer said. "She is a very determined and strong-willed player. She had a great weekend for us."

Aranda put SIUE up 2-1 at No. 1 singles with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Ivon Simic. Aranda extended her singles winning streak to five matches.

"Lexi played every well for us today," said Coomer. "She is getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on which is something we are pleased with."

Ilcewicz evened her season record at 10-10 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jessica Silva at No. 5 singles.

"Haley was very good for us today," Coomer noted. "She took control of the match in winning the first set and set the tone. That is something we expect our upperclassmen to do."

SIUE has three matches this week to close out the OVC regular season. It begins Thursday with a 1 p.m. makeup match against Eastern Illinois in Champaign, Ill. The Cougars close out the regular season with a pair of home matches Saturday and Sunday against Belmont and Tennessee State, respectively.

"We have to regroup and get ready for three tough matches coming up," Coomer said. "This team continues to show improvement. We're excited for the upcoming week."

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