Men’s and Women’s tennis updates

Mixed results for Men’s Tennis

West Liberty’s Men’s tennis team (4-5) faced-off against Division I opposition this week while also recording a conference win over Davis & Elkins College (2-4). The Hilltoppers defeated the Senators at home by a 4-3 score line on Wednesday, April 7 before Saint Francis University travelled to the hilltop two days, coming away with a 6-1 win against WLU.

WLU were in fine form in conference play coming into these two matches as they were looking to make it four wins from five in MEC action and their close victory over D&E did just that. The visitors claimed the doubles point on the day, winning two of the three games after Anton Schulz and Zarion Jones claimed the only victory, leaving coach Ronnie Hulewicz’s team behind early on.

The singles action produced some extremely close games with each team winning two games with all but the No. 4 and No. 5 singles matches to finish, meaning that the Toppers would have to win both games to secure the team win. Sophomore Daisuke Aota landed a three set victory with a 6-3 win in the final set before fellow sophomore Derek Rohner clinched the win for West Liberty in a dramatic tiebreaker at the end of the third set.

This win gave the team plenty of confidence going into an extremely difficult matchup against the visiting Division I Red Flash. The visitors posted straight-set wins in all but one of the matches as senior Schulz helped his team avoid a shutout defeat, recording a 6-1, 6-3 win in the No. 3 matchup. This will have been extremely beneficial for the development of the team as they prepare for their final three conference games where they will look to gain a spot in the MEC Tennis Championship at the beginning of May.

The Hilltoppers will play their next conference game on Friday April 16 when they will travel to face-off against Fairmont State University in what will be a pivotal game for the MEC standings.

Women’s Tennis fall to conference champions

West Liberty’s Women’s tennis team (6-2) recorded their first conference loss of the season this week as they fell to reigning MEC champion, the University of Charleston (10-2). The undefeated Golden Eagles came away with a 6-1 victory which put an end to the Hilltoppers’ five game win streak.

The Lady Toppers had dropped just one game in their last five competitions coming into this match up. However, they knew it was going to be a difficult one as they faced off against a team who had recorded a perfect 7-0 victory in each of their conference matches so far this season.
Nathalia Valencia gave her opponent their first loss of the season in the No. 2 singles matchup, coming away with a tiebreaker to give the home team their only win of the day. Valencia had been in fine form coming into this matchup making this her sixth win in a row as she will be hoping to continue this form into the rest of the season.

Coach Heather Gallagher will be hoping that her team can bounce back from this defeat and get back to winning ways as they edge closer to the MEC Tennis Championships at the beginning of May. West Liberty now sits in third position in the MEC standings behind only the Golden Eagles and West Virginia State University (6-3), their next conference opponents. The Toppers will face off against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday Apr. 17 and they will be hoping that they can pull-off their first ever win in this matchup. For more information visit