The men and women’s tennis teams spent the weekend in Belleville, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri, for matches April 15-16. The women’s team won three out of the four matches, while the men collected two wins.
The women first faced a tough William Woods University team that handed them their only loss of the weekend. The lone win came in sophomore Brooke Barnard’s No. 1 singles match. Barnard defeated William Woods’ Paige Smith in a dominant 6-1, 6-1 match. Baker came up short in the remaining matches to give William Woods the 8-1 victory.
The men also fell to William Woods 5-2, but it did not stop senior Spartak Rahachou from picking up a couple more wins in singles and doubles as well. Rahachou easily defeated William Woods’ Elias Fernandez in singles 6-1, 6-1. The doubles match was more contested, however, but still resulted in a Baker win. Junior Austin Keberlein and Rahachou put together an 8-6 performance to get Baker its second win of the match.
In 8-1 fashion, the women’s team handed a loss to the Lindenwood University Lynx. The Lynx were only able to field five athletes, which gave Baker three automatic points. The Wildcats’ only loss came from junior Jaimie Myers, 6-1, 7-5, in the No. 3 singles spot. Barnard, sophomore Holly Chestnut, and sophomore Taylor Swartzendruber all picked up wins in their singles matches.
The men claimed all three doubles matches to win 6-3 over Lindenwood University. Rahachou and Keberlein won in No. 1 doubles 8-1, while freshman Taylor Ficke and sophomore Thomas Irick won in similar fashion with an 8-1 victory in No. 2 doubles. Freshman Connor Petty and senior Aaron Greenbaum squeaked by for an 8-5 win the No. 3 spot. Rahachou, Irick, and junior Gavin Webster also contributed by winning their singles match.
The teams traveled to St. Louis on Saturday in preparation for Missouri Baptist University. The women displayed their dominance on the doubles scene by picking up all three wins and went on to triumph in a close 5-4 match. Barnard and Chestnut won 8-5 in No. 1 doubles. Freshman Morgan Francis and Myers came together to win in the No. 2 spot, while sophomore Cassie Long and Swartzendruber also won in the No. 3 doubles. Barnard and Chestnut collected wins in their singles matches, while the remaining matches all went into three sets in Missouri Baptist’s favor.
The men fell 6-3 to Missouri Baptist, which remains undefeated in conference play. Rahachou suffered his only loss of the weekend in doubles with Keberlein. The three wins came from Greenbaum in a three set win in singles, a doubles win from Webster and Ficke, and Rahachou’s singles match win.
The men went on to win the last match of the weekend in a dominant 9-0 shutout against St. Louis College of Pharmacy. The women almost came away with the flawless score, but instead gave up one game and ultimately won 5-1.
“We didn’t get the results we were after, but seeing these teams prepared us for conference,” said Keberlein.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference matches are scheduled for April 29-30 in Olathe.
The men’s and women’s teams are scheduled to host back-to-back matches April 19-20 at home. The Wildcats will match up against Stephens College on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Bethany College on Wednesday at noon. The women will also host Evangel University on Tuesday at 10 a.m.