The men’s and women’s tennis teams defeated the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) on Monday, Feb. 26. Despite the close score, Harding still persevered and came out on top with a 6-3 win.
Harding has won the last five matches against UAFS on both the men’s and women’s teams.
“The women’s matches are always competitive,” head coach David Redding said. “Fort Smith has a very good program there, and generally, when we play them, it can go either way.”
Even though the results alone do not indicate a close match, the points themselves are always hard fought and it is still a battle for every point, according to senior Carlos Crisostomo.
Crisostomo said he was glad the team won, but the wins did not come as smoothly as they had hoped for.
Crisostomo fell to an opponent he defeated last year. In addition to this, Crisostomo said he was proud of his teammates who won their tough single matches.
Senior Gabriella Alves said that, while practicing indoors for outdoor matches can be a challenge, it still is not an excuse to slack off.
“It can be frustrating at times, when you know you can do a little bit better, but there are just some days you are not feeling it, or your body isn’t responding to what you want to do,” Alves said. “I used to be way more competitive than what I am right now. I would get stressed and it would ruin my entire day, but we learn as the years go on.”
Crisostomo and Alves both agree there are days where they play great and some days they don’t, but it comes with the turf.
Harding’s men’s and women’s tennis teams are both ranked No. 7 in the regional rankings. Since the UAFS matches, both teams played three different matches on March 3-4 and in total won all six matches.
The men’s team also played a non-conference match against St. Edward’s University that came down to the final match, where sophomore Luis Tirado ended up clenching the win for the Bisons.
In addition to this, the women defeated Ouachita Baptist University 9-0 Wednesday, March 14, in their first non-conference home match of the season. The women will compete against Ouachita again on April 9 in Arkadelphia, the results counting towards their conference record.
Both teams say they are excited and looking forward to the season kicking off this week. Both teams will play against Northwest Missouri State University, Saturday, March 17 at noon in Searcy.
Written by Deanna Myles and sports editor Emily Faulkner