SALISBURY, N.C. — After a nearly two-week layoff, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s and women’s tennis teams returned to the court on Sunday and swept a pair of South Atlantic Conference matches against the Catawba Indians. The Railsplitters (3-6, 1-4 SAC) earned their first league win with a 6-3 triumph over the Indians, while the Lady Railsplitters (6-4, 3-2 SAC) moved back over .500 in SAC action with a 6-3 win.
Lady Railsplitters 6, Catawba 3
The Lady Railsplitters faced an uphill climb after doubles play as Catawba took two of the three doubles matches. The duo of Elena Vasilyeva and Gemma Goodland were responsible for LMU’s only point as that pair captured an 8-4 win over Liz Renteria and Sloan Kessler at the top flight. However, Roksolana Prudyvus and Alexandra Granger dropped an 8-4 decision at No.2 to Lauren Sledd and Maddy Henderson, while Priscilla Bulandres and Aura Penalosa fell to Olivia Myers and Ally Prior in the third flight.
Despite dropping two of three in doubles, the Lady Railsplitters bounced back with a dominant showing in singles action. Vasilyeva set the tone early with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Renteria at No.1 singles, while Goodland nabbed a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Kessler in the second flight. Bulandres kept it rolling with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Henderson at No.3, while Granger and Penalosa worked for three-set victories at No.5 and No.6 singles. Granger bested Prior 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, while Penalosa rebounded from a 0-6 loss in the first set with 6-4, 6-4 wins.
LMU’s only singles loss was in the fourth flight as Prudyvus suffered a 6-1, 6-3 setback.
Catawba fell to 11-12 overall and 3-6 in SAC action with the loss.
Railsplitters 6, Catawba 3
The Railsplitters shuffled their doubles rotation and quickly reaped the benefits by taking two of the three matches. Gabriel Martins and Marcelo Alvim, playing without Will Sparks for the first time this season, picked up an 8-2 win over Michael Patch and Matthew Nicholson at No.2 doubles. Sparks, meanwhile, earned an 8-5 win over Iago Montero Nunez and Aaron Vanhorenbeck alongside Stefan Hall in the third flight. Catawba staved off the doubles sweep as Pierce Hoover and Jack Mordey topped Odhran O’Sullivan and Guilherme Rocha 8-2 at the top flight.
Holding a 2-1 advantage, the Railsplitters put the match in the bag by taking each of the singles matches in the two through five flights.
O’Sullivan fought for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Nicholson in the second flight, while Alvim rolled in straight sets over Mordey at No.3. Rocha dropped the first set 5-7, but bounced back with 6-1, 7-4 wins over Patch in the fourth flight. Hall concluded the victory with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Nunez in the fifth flight.
Catawba’s only two singles points were earned at the first and sixth flights. Sparks was dropped in straight sets by Hoover at No.1, while Vanhorenbeck took set one before Martins retired.
The Indians fell to 7-15 overall and 1-8 in SAC play with the loss.
LMU will host Brevard on Tuesday with doubles matches starting at 2 p.m.