This item originally appeared in the April 21, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
By BRIAN TYNES
Tech's tennis team (10-11) split matches with Lee Junior College and Tyler Junior College to close out the regular season.
The Lady Techsters took the match against Lee JC 5-2 on the strength of four singles match wins.
Saharai Uriarte, Holly Ready, Anabella Duque and Avril Martinez won their matches with Martinez winning in three sets 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
The day before the win over Lee, the Techsters fell to Tyler JC 4-3 after being swept in the doubles' matches.
Uriarte, Duque and Katie Westbrook won their matches with Westbrook winning in a tiebreak 6-3, 4-6, 10-5.
Monica Kelly had to retire from her singles match in both contests due to an injury.
Tech head coach Terrence DeJongh said injuries were pivotal because of the tennis team's limited size.
"We have a lot of matches we've lost 4-3, and that is because we only have six players," DeJongh said.
"If one girl is sick or gets injured we're down to just five and have to forfeit two matches."
DeJongh said despite being a junior college, Tyler is one of the top programs in the country.
"They are in the top three every year and have won several national titles," DeJongh said.
"They have beaten several division one schools this year, not just us. We drove and played the same day.
"I felt like if we traveled the day before and slept in then we would have won.
"Since it was a close drive, I thought it would be OK, but I see now that it wasn't, even with just a two-hour drive."
DeJongh said playing the junior colleges is good because it establishes a friendship and possible recruiting base.
"It's good for experience, and it's good for me and for the school recruiting-wise," DeJongh said.
"We are going to try to play them every year for that relationship."
The Lady Techsters finished the season with the sixth best winning percentage in the Western Athletic Conference but will enter the tournament seeded No. 8 because they did not play any conference matches this season due to travel reasons.
"The girls know they did a good job," DeJongh said.
"We've always been No. 9 or 10, but right now it's about building the program.
"Once we do that, in one or two years, we should always be in the top four in our conference."