First-place Mississippi College came calling on the UTD tennis teams March 27 and both the men and women overpowered the Comets, handing both teams their first conference losses.
The men fell 6-3 and the women were served an 8-1 defeat.
Senior Kevin Durten provided one of the few highlights for the men by avenging his loss to Drew Brooks in the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Individual Tournament earlier this year and rallying for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 victory.
“[Durten] didn’t know he was going to play [Brooks] until the day of the match,” men’s Head Coach Jeremy Morse said. “Kevin is confident and he goes into every match like he’s going to win.”
The showdown against Mississippi College was a heavyweight battle, pitting the top teams of the ASC East against one another.
UTD had been previously undefeated thanks to a 6-1 acing of Austin College (AC) on March 17.
The Comets, 2-1 in conference play and 4-1 overall, had their way with the overmatched squad from Sherman.
Led by top-seeded Durten – and his nearly flawless 6-0, 6-1 shellacking of AC’s No. 1 player -UTD claimed five of six singles matches and the lone doubles showdown.
“I think we have a good chance to go undefeated the rest of the year,” Morse said. “It’s all about getting out there and playing and maintaining our strokes.”
Women’s No. 1 seed, senior Andrea Hidalgo chalked up the only victory for the Comets with a default injury win.
The women enjoyed success against AC, netting a 7-2 victory, including a perfect 3-0 in doubles competition.
Hidalgo turned in another solid performance, breezing to a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
The women (3-1, 4-2) picked up an important conference victory with a March 21 clubbing of Louisiana College.
“Something that’s really crucial are the next four matches because they’re all conference matches,” women’s Head Coach Jenny Dunn said. “They’re going to be the deciding factors.”
UTD won the match 9-0, but not all wins came easily for the Comets.
Freshman Heather Seals, playing in the number one position, clawed her way to a 7-5, 7-5 singles victory and teamed up with senior Alexis McCubbin to win the top doubles match 8-6 in a tiebreaker.
“I think UT-Tyler is going to be a big match for us,” Dunn said. “I saw a couple of their girls play and they have a strong team.
“Obviously all of these matches will be big for us. How we do against them will be a big indicator of where we are,” she said.