Tulsa tennis teams take multiple falls on Friday

Sports editor Jaralynn Tammi Morellano says both teams had a lead in the beginning.

The University of Tulsa’s men’s and women’s tennis teams came up short against its opponents last week. The women’s tennis program fell 4-3 against No. 48 Denver on its Senior Day on Friday, April 5. Hours later, the men faced off against the American Athletic Conference’s top-ranked team, the Memphis Tigers (No. 27). Despite the close matches, it also fell 4-3.

The women’s team was up 2-0 against the Pioneers after taking the No. 2 and 3 positions with scores of 6-2 and 6-3, respectively. The third position was secured by the first-ever pairing of freshman Erin McKenzie and Tayla Wilmot. The second position was taken by Oleksandra Nahurska and Ana Naranjo Martinez. The first position was left unfinished, with junior duo Maria Berlanga Bandera and Lily Hutchings leaving the match with a score of 5-3.

As for singles matches, the first finished match ended in a win for the Golden Hurricane. This match was the No. 1 position, with Berlanga taking her 19th win of the season, a feat she has not accomplished since her freshman year in the 2021-22 season.

The next match finished was in the No. 3 position, but it was the first of many unlucky performances to bring the Golden Hurricane to its loss. Naranjo took another win in her No. 4 position match and put Tulsa ahead 3-1. The matches following her were hard-fought by Denver, and the strenuous battles all ended in victories for them. The point to give Denver its victory was clinched by its very own Alice Otis, who, despite having lost the first set against McKenzie, fired off a 6-3 win in the second set and a 7-6 win in the third.

At 6 p.m. on the same day, the men started its campaign against Memphis with a loss in the first-finished doubles match. Following this hiccup, duo Gus Tettamble and Callum Gale picked up the Golden Hurricane’s momentum with a 6-3 victory. Pierce Rollins and Timothy Seger were able to defeat #35 Pablo Alemany and Charlie Barry 7-6 to take the doubles point and put Tulsa up 1-0.

When the time for singles matches came around, it seemed like everything was falling into place for the Golden Hurricane when Rollins defeated #55 Pablo Alemany 7-1 in the third set to keep Tulsa’s lead. Memphis put itself back in the competition when it tied 2-2 after Pau Fanlo defeated Seger in two sets with final scores of 6-1 and 6-3, respectively.

Following this match, Memphis stole the lead when Moritz Kudernatsch defeated Victor Tosetto. Just minutes later, Tulsa’s Alex Okonkwo revived the tie when he defeated Memphis’s Juan Zabala. Despite its efforts, the final match ended in Memphis’s favor when Tulsa’s Thiago Pernas fell to Conor Gannon after three rough sets.

By Friday evening, Tulsa’s women’s team fell to 8-11 in record, while the men dropped to 9-12. The Tulsa women will go on the road to face Wichita State at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 8. The men stayed home to face South Florida on Sunday, April 7. The Pioneers record was raised to 13-6 overall while the Tigers rose to a 15-4 record.