Tennis Lady 'Cats Fall in Regular-Season Finale, 6-3

Tennis Lady 'Cats Fall in Regular-Season Finale, 6-3

INSTITUTE -- West Virginia State overpowered West Virginia Wesleyan at the top of the lineup to claim a 6-3 victory in Mountain East Conference women's tennis action here Sunday

The contest was the regular-season finale for both teams.

With the win, West Virginia State finished their fall season with a perfect 8-0 mark and claimed the Mountain East Conference regular season title for the fifth consecutive year. 

The Lady Bobcats (7-4, 5-3 MEC) were competitive at the outset, winning at No. 3 doubles behind Mariona Junyer and Kasumi Hayashi's 8-2 result. 

The Yellow Jackets pulled away at No. 2 doubles to win 8-4, leaving the No. 1 doubles to decide the momentum swing in the match. Wesleyan's top pair of Irene Nunez (pictured) and Cecila Martinez Oliver held break points to get back on serve in the final game, but the West Virginia State team served out for the 8-5 victory and the early lead going into singles.

Quick wins at No. 3 and No. 6 singles put State on the edge of the win, before Julia Yanes got the Lady 'Cats in the wind column with a 6-2 6-3 win at the No. 5 spot.

But the Yellow Jackets clinched the point at No. 1 singles when MEC Player of the Year Laura Isbey polished of Nunez 6-3 6-0 for the deciding point. 

"I thought we played well against a good team, but we couldn't scratch out a point against their top players where we needed to to give us the opportunity to win today," said coach Marc Walters. "I would have liked to see us have more competitive scores in some spots, but State never let us get established in those matches and that's what championship teams do to you."

Cecila Martinez Oliver added a singles win for Wesleyan at No. 4 singles in the tightest match of the day, besting Kayla McKnight, 7-5 6-2. 

The Lady Bobcats are off until Friday when they enter MEC tournament as the No. 4 seed, facing No. 5 Fairmont State at 11 a.m. at Marshall University.

The Lady 'Cats topped the Fighting Falcons 7-2 in Fairmont ten days ago in their past meeting.

This is the fifth consecutive year Wesleyan has qualified for the postseason tournament and they have been no lower than the fourth seed each time.