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The Antelope

Lopers down the Griffons on sunny Senior Day

Senior Jazmin Zamorano returns a ball against Missouri Western. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

The No. 30 Loper women’s tennis team rallied back after falling behind early to defeat No. 36 Missouri Western, 4-3, on Senior Day.

UNK would begin the day winning at No. 2 doubles as senior Melisa Becerra and junior Narindra Ranaivo rattled off their 10th-straight win. However, the Lopers would fall at Nos. 1 and 3 as Missouri Western took the doubles point for the early 1-0 lead.

Missouri Western would tack two more onto their lead by winning at Nos. 4 and 5 singles.

Then, the Lopers got a spark from junior Alexis Bernthal. As she downed her opponent in the No. 6 singles matchup in straight sets, 2-0. A two-set win where Bernthal did not allow the opposition to win a game in set two.

UNK got another win in singles as Narindra Ranaivo clawed her way back into the lead to take her first set at No. 3, 7-6. She would go on to get the straight-set victory over her opponent, winning the second set, 6-3.

The Lopers were now in a position where a loss at either No. 1 or 2 singles would end any chance of a comeback.

Senior Melisa Becerra came through at No. 2 singles as she battled back after falling in set one, 6-4. As she handled her opponent in convincing fashion in sets two and three to take the No. 2 singles point and tie the duel, 3-3.

The senior’s win meant the duel would come down to freshman Fabiana Gamboa at No. 1 singles. Gamboa came out of the gates strong, winning set one, 7-5, to take the early advantage. Missouri Western’s Anya Chavez battled back in set two, winning, 6-3, to keep it knotted at a set a piece. However, the second set win did not phase the freshman, as Gamboa won the final set, 6-0, to secure the 4-3 win for the Lopers.

The duel marked the last for the Lopers at home this season, as they will hit the road for the rest of the season, beginning with a trip to take on Fort Hays State at 4 p.m. on Wednesday April 17. Then, UNK will finish its regular season by taking on Southern Arkansas, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Northwest Missouri and Washburn. The Lopers will then head to the MIAA tournament, which begins Friday May 3 in Edmond, OK.

Photos by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

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Traeton Harimon
Traeton Harimon, Sports Editor
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