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This item originally appeared in the April 8, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

By MATT DEARMAN

Sports Writer

The Tech tennis team was defeated 4-3 by Delta State University on Sunday in Cleveland, Miss., to put a halt to the Techsters recent five-match hot streak.

Prior to the Delta State (13-3) face-off, Tech (5-9) won four of their last five matches, including impressive victories over Louisiana-Monroe and Texas-San Antonio.

"Getting these wins is awesome," Tech interim coach Terrence De Jongh said. "The girls are really fighting hard. I think we have a really good chance at reaching a winning record."

The match with Delta State started off slow for the Techsters, who lost all three doubles matches and went into singles play one point down to the Lady Statesmen.

In singles, Saharai Uriate picked up the No. 1 point for Tech by winning her match 7-5, 6-2. Holly Ready then picked up another point for the Techsters with a 6-2, 6-4 victory in the No. 2 duel. Tech's final point of the day came from Annabella Duque, who won the No. 5 bout 3-6, 6-2, 7-6.

Monica Kelly, Avril Martinez and Katie Westbrook were defeated in their singles contests, giving the edge to Delta State because of the decisive doubles point.

In the match with UTSA (8-10) on April 2, Tech got off to a rocky start, losing the No. 3 doubles match 8-3 and forfeiting the No. 1 match due to illness.

Kelly and Ready fought hard in the No. 2 doubles match, claiming a 9-8 victory in the tiebreaker. Despite the victory, the other two doubles matches went to UTSA, securing the doubles point for the Lady Roadrunners.

"It's tough when you lose the doubles point going into singles, but the girls responded really well [in singles]." De Jongh said. "They fought hard at the beginning, and they got on the court and took care of business."

UTSA claimed the No. 1 singles match after Paula Erausquin defeated Ready in an intense match with a score of 6-4, 6-3. The Lady Roadrunners' other singles point came from the No. 4 match, where Tech's Andrea Moncada had to forfeit due to injury in the first set.

Kelly had a dominating performance for Tech in the No. 2 match, claiming the point for the Techsters with an impressive 6-2, 6-0 victory.

Duque also shut down her opponent 6-4,6-0 in the No. 3 spot, and Martinez followed in the No. 5 match with a 6-2, 6-0 win to give Tech their third point of the day.

Westbrook sealed the match for Tech in the No. 6 spot with a powerful 6-0, 6-0 victory to give the Techsters their fourth and final point of the day.

The Techsters achieved a milestone victory on March 31 with a 5-2 victory over ULM (3-14). The win marked Tech's first victory over the Lady Indians since 1974.

Tech came out against ULM strong and stormed through doubles competition, winning the No. 1 match 9-8 and the No. 2 and 3 matches 8-0.

In singles play, Tech lost the first two points when Uriarte was defeated 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 1 match, and Ready was forced to withdraw from the No. 2 match due to injury.

After losing the top two matches in singles competition, the Techsters would not lose again on the day, as Kelly claimed the No. 3 match 6-3, 6-2. Martinez and Duque swept through both the No. 4 and 5 contests 6-0, 6-0, and Westbrook capped off the day with a 6-3, 6-0 win in the No. 6 spot.

"We knew what we had to do," said De Jongh. "We had to fight, and we needed to get the win. The girls came pumped up and on fire."

Tech returns to action April 8 on the road at Louisiana-Lafayette.


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