The University of Memphis women’s tennis team (16-7, 3-3 AAC) continued their strong play as of late, securing a 4-1 win against Cincinnati on Wednesday morning to advance to the next round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. Their win pushed their streak to eight matches. This is the longest win streak they have had since Head Coach Hayden Perez took over in 2014.
Memphis drew a No.7 seed before the start of the tournament after a frantic push to end the season. They finished the year undefeated, 7-0, at home, with wins against foes such as Tulane, Middle Tennessee and a 6-1 win against Western Kentucky on Senior Day.
The Tigers’ win against the Bearcats was an exercise in revenge, having previously lost the last three matchups against Cincinnati. One of their three losses was an emphatic 5-2 defeat in February. The Tigers came out to a fast start Wednesday in doubles and used three singles wins from the top of their lineup to earn the victory.
“What a great team effort today,” Perez said to GoTigersGo. “The doubles was impressive. The energy that everyone came out with was awesome. We set the tone early with some aggressive doubles.”
Memphis won the opening doubles point for the sixth consecutive match. The freshman duo of Alisha Reayer and Laura Bente grabbed a 6-0 win. Afterward, sophomores Claire Sullivan and Josephine Cao followed up with a sweep of court three to secure the early advantage.
To open up singles play, Hannah Sohn received her seventh straight win. The Germany native took court two by a score of 6-2, 6-2 to gain a 2-0 lead for the Tigers.
On court four, the Bearcats got on the board with a victory in their attempt to close the gap, but Bente’s efforts pushed the Tigers’ lead to 3-1.
Senior leader Anki Wind got a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win in the third set after splitting the first two, clinching the win for the Tigers.
“In singles, it was a battle of attrition,” Perez said to GoTigersGo. “The conditions were tough with steady winds and some strong gusts. The girls were focused, and it showed. Cincinnati is a tough team and always come to play, and today was no exception.”
Memphis will look to extend their streak when they take on the No. 2 seed Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the quarterfinal round Thursday at 3 p.m. This matchup will be a long-awaited reunion, with these two teams, having last faced off in 2015.
Women’s tennis head coach Hayden Perez encourages his team during the match. Perez helped head Nebraska to five NCAA tournaments and one Sweet Sixteen.
Hanna Sohn stays on her toes and winds up to hit a forehand. Sohn previously played at the University of Arizona before coming to Memphis.