ABILENE, Texas – The University of Texas at Tyler women’s tennis team took home the American Southwest Conference championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year on Sunday evening by defeating Hardin-Simmons, 5-3, at McMurry’s Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center in Abilene.
The match, which featured the top-seed from each division, began with UT Tyler (17-8) earning two of three doubles points.
The Cowgirls were first on the board, as Bria Camarillo and Danielle Cochran defeated sophomore Lauren Giovannini (Dallas, Texas) and junior Brittany Ude (Corpus Christi, Texas), 8-3, at the No. 3 flight.
However, UT Tyler would capture the next two points as senior Beth Launius (LaGrange, Texas) and sophomore Michelle Hagler (Austin, Texas) won their match at No. 1, 9-7, while freshmen Sydni Hermsdorf and Lauren Nielsen, both of Spring, Texas, won their match at No. 2, 8-4.
In singles action, Hermsdorf was first to finish and pushed the Patriots lead to 3-1 by defeating Lauren Jay, 6-1, 6-1, at the fourth flight.
Hagler followed Hermsdorf with her own 6-1, 6-1 win over Morgan Rainer at No. 2 to put UT Tyler one point away from the team win.
The Cowgirls’ Brittany Brazzell and Lisa Mertz pulled Hardin-Simmons within a point by defeating Nielsen at No. 3, 6-2, 6-3, and Launius at No. 1, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, respectively.
After losing the first set, 7-6, Giovannini played a pair of shutout sets at No. 5 to clinch the match win and ASC title for her team.
During the post-match ceremonies, Giovannini, Hagler, Hermsdorf and Ude each received All-Tournament honors, while Hermsdorf was also named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
UT Tyler now waits until May 4 when the NCAA Selection Committee announces the Patriots’ first opponent as well as the location of their regional.