Both the South Dakota State men's and women's tennis teams split two meets in Florida on Wednesday and Thursday...
The teams swept Robert Morris on Wednesday, before dropping two close decisions to Saint Joseph's on Thursday.
On the women's side, SDSU dominated doubles play against Robert Morris to earn the team point. Jenny Blackburne and Brooke Henry teamed up for an impressive 8-3 win at No. 1. Bryna Nasenbeny and Megan McDougall won 8-2 at No. 2, while Natalia Medina and Anna Botzet secured an 8-1 win at No. 3.
In singles, Nasenbeny led the Jacks with a three-set victory at No. 1 singles. Blackburne followed suit, pulling out a close first set 7-5 before running away with the match at No. 2. Henry, McDougall, Medina and Botzet all won in straight sets at No. 3, 4, 5 and 6, respectively, to complete the shutout.
On the men's side, doubles also led to an early SDSU lead. James Thorp and Parker Lawley set the tone with an 8-0 win at No. 1. Justin Pyle and Morgan Salo teamed up at No. 2 for an 8-5 win, while Dominic Rossetto and Alejandro Marin won 8-4 at No. 3.
Singles was more of the same, as four of the six Jackrabbits won in straight sets. Pyle won a tough match at No. 1, coming back to take the second set and full third set after dropping the first set in a tiebreaker. Christian Maki also battled back from a one-set deficit to take the No. 5 match 4-6, 6-1, 10-8. Thorp, Rossetto, Marin and Salo won at No. 2, 3, 4 and 6, respectively.
Against Saint Joseph's, both teams found it a bit more difficult.
The women secured the doubles point thanks to an outstanding effort from Natalia Medina and Anna Botzet at No. 3 doubles. The two teamed up to win in a tiebreaker 8-7 (9-7). Bryna Nasenbeny and Megan McDougall posted the other doubles victory at No. 2 with an 8-2 win. Jenny Blackburne and Brooke Henry battled hard, but dropped the match at No. 1 in a tiebreaker 8-7 (7-5).
Singles did not play out in favor of the Jacks, however. Nasenbeny, Blackburne, Henry and Medina all suffered defeats at No. 1, 2, 3 and 5. Henry fell in a full third set, while Medina was edged in a close first set. McDougall and Botzet posted solid wins at No. 4 and 6, but it was not enough to secure the win.
It was the third 4-3 loss for the SDSU women during the trip to Florida.
On the men's side, Parker Lawley and James Thorp scored the lone doubles win at No. 1 with an 8-6 victory. Justin Pyle and Morgan Salo fell by a narrow margin at No. 2, while Dominic Rossetto and Alejandro Marin lost at No. 3.
In singles, the Jacks sprinted back into the picture with wins by Rossetto at No. 2 and Lawley at No. 3. Rossetto cruised in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, while Lawley pulled out another tough match 4-6, 6-4, 10-4. Pyle ran into a tough opponent at No. 1, and Saint Joseph's ran the table at No. 4, 5 and 6. Thorp was edged in a tight first set at No. 5 and Marin was bested in a three-set match.
"We continue to play extremely well down in Florida," head coach Michael Engdahl said. "It can be hard to lose this many close matches, but I have been impressed with how we have been able to bounce back each day. The players continue to have the hunger in their eyes, and it keeps getting stronger each day. If we are able to keep this focus, we are going to surprise a lot of people this season."
The women are 4-5 on the young campaign, while the men are 4-6.
Complete results from the Saint Joseph's meets are available at the beginning of this article, as well as men's results against Robert Morris. Women's results from that meet are not yet available.
Both teams were scheduled to square off against Bethune-Cookman this afternoon in Daytona Beach, Fla., but the meets were postponed due to rain.