The men’s tennis team did not overcome an early deficit against Great American Conference (GAC) rival, No. 28 Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) last Saturday, April 7. The men were held to only a point on the day and lost 5-1.
“I didn’t play my best, but I think we all gave a good shot and we fought until the end,” senior Adria Abella said. “I think winning one more doubles match would’ve given us a much better chance to win, but Southeastern just has a really solid team.”
Although head coach David Redding said he was disappointed by the loss, he knew his team worked hard. Redding said he has never questioned his team’s work ethic.
“The guys battle,” Redding said. “We are not the most talented team in the conference, but I think our guys are the hardest-working and have the most heart. I never worry about them battling. Unfortunately, we just got beat by a team that played better than us. We didn’t give up and played hard until the end. I know our team is ready to come out, work hard and get ready for our next conference match.”
Harding’s lone point came from a doubles win by senior Carlos Crisostomo and sophomore Luis Tirado with a 9-8 score.
As a doubles pair, Crisostomo and Tirado have an overall record of 19-7. According to Harding Sports, with one more win, they will become the fourth duo in program history to reach 20 wins in a season.
Tirado said he was happy with his doubles win but was much more focused on the team as a whole against SOSU.
“We have to learn from this match,” Tirado said. “We need to work on the things that each one of us must do better and apply them in future matches. This match showed us the damage we can do. We will probably play against this team in the conference tournament, which will make us work harder, so next time we will come out on top.”
The men’s team is currently third in GAC standings, won one in-conference match left. They have an overall record of 11-6 and a conference record of 1-1. The team’s last in-conference match will take place today against Oklahoma Baptist University at 7 p.m. Redding and the rest of the team know the magnitude of this match and are already preparing for it.
“It’s going to be a battle against Oklahoma Baptist next Tuesday,” Redding said. “Everything we do until then is to prepare us to play our best tennis against them.”