Tennis action today at SAU Live Oaks Courts

The Southern Arkansas women's tennis team is set for its home opener on today. The Lady Muleriders welcome in No. 21 Mississippi College for an 11 a.m. start from the Live Oak Tennis Courts. On Sunday, SAU heads to Dallas to battle Texas-Permian Basin at 11 a.m.

The Lady Muleriders (2-0) took care of Dallas Baptist in Arkadelphia to start the season with a 5-2 victory. The next day, SAU went south to Shreveport and handed then-No. 23 Angelo State a 4-2 defeat.

Josie Holderbach and Amelie Gindl are 2-0 as doubles partners in the early part of the spring season. Holderbach is unbeaten at No. 3 singles, Annika Berrendorf is undefeated at No. 2 singles with her three and a half hours long, 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-5 triumph in the ASU match giving SAU the win over the nationally-ranked Rambelles. Tamiya Lintz clinched the victory for the Muleriders in the season opener with a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 6 singles.

Southern Arkansas played both of its weekend opponents last season. The Lady Muleriders lost 4-2 to the Choctaws last February in Magnolia in the first matchup between the two programs. SAU defeated UTPB 6-1 in Magnolia last March and won 7-0 over the Falcons in mid-February 2019.

Mississippi College enters ranked No. 21 nationally. MC dropped a close match to Division I Jackson State 4-3 to open the spring. The Choctaws cruised past Harding 7-0 and beat UT-Tyler 5-2. Ana Julissa De Mata Rodriguez is 3-0 in singles play at No. 5, while Emma Roberts is unbeaten on the year at No. 3. Both players are perfect in doubles action with their teammates Gabrielle Geolier and Maria Rodriguez, respectively.

UTPB is 3-1 on the season and matches up with GAC foes Southeastern Oklahoma and Harding, before battling the Muleriders on Sunday. The Falcons' Brooke Runyan and Paige Bott were both named Lone Star Conference Players to Watch entering the 2024 season.

Since 2018-19, the first year of competition under current head coach Greg Owen, the Lady Muleriders are 25-10 at home which included a winning streak of 17 to open play at the renovated Live Oak Tennis Courts. The Muleriders have finished with a winning home record in four of Owen's previous six seasons.

Muleriders set for matches

The Southern Arkansas men's tennis team puts its 2-0 mark on the line against Midwestern State, No. 24 Mississippi College and Texas-Permian Basin across three-consecutive days of action. The Muleriders will host the Choctaws in its home opener from the Live Oak Tennis Courts at 2 p.m. on today and ventures west to Dallas to battle the Falcons in an 11 a.m. start.

The Muleriders (2-0) handled business in Arkadelphia over the first week of February beating Delta State 7-0 in the season opener, before topping Southwest Baptist 6-1. Since 2018-19, SAU holds a 7-4 record against non-conference opponents in Arkadelphia. The doubles competition against the Bearcats in match No. 2 is the lone defeat for SAU in the early going of the season. The Muleriders have dropped only two sets so far this season.

Ole Valkyser and Tim Fischer both have wins at No. 1 for SAU, with Mathys Pinoit, Frode Neumann and Pierre Copin all winning twice at lines three, four and five, respectively. In doubles action, Valkyser and Matthew Tennant are unbeaten at 2-0 with wins at No. 1 and No. 2.

The competition on tap this weekend is somewhat familiar for Southern Arkansas. The Muleriders match up against Midwestern State for the third time since March of 2021. Both programs have a win against each other with SAU winning 4-0 in Magnolia the last time the two squared off two years ago. Friday's match will be MSU's first of the spring season. The Mustangs' Luis Diaz Argente was ranked No. 15 in DII at the conclusion of the fall semester.

It is also the third meeting between SAU and Mississippi College. SAU won 4-3 in Arkadelphia in 2020 and claimed a 4-2 result in Magnolia last February. MC enters Saturday's matchup unbeaten at 3-0 with 5-2 wins over Division I Jackson State, Harding and UT-Tyler. Alex Benichou Blanchard held the No. 28 singles ranking following action last fall. He is currently unbeaten this spring as the Choctaws' line one player. Joe Jarvis, Sergio Ramirez Ocana and Alvaro Saint Martin are all 3-0 with wins at multiple lines.

Southern Arkansas and UTPB meet for the third time since 2019. The Falcons won the first matchup 4-1 in Midlothian, Texas and SAU grabbed a 4-3 victory last March in Magnolia. Texas-Permian Basin enters the weekend 4-0 and will battle Southeastern Oklahoma and Harding before Sunday's showdown with Southern Arkansas. Vitaliy Horovoy closed out the fall ranked No. 21 nationally, while teammate Takumi Katsuda held the No. 43 ranking. Katsuda along with Jonas Krahofer ranked No. 8 in DII in doubles play. This season, Jonathan Vega and Angus Howard have both earned Lone Star Conference Player of the Week honors.

Since 2018-19, the Muleriders are 24-6 at home with unbeaten seasons in 2019 (9-0) and 2022 (7-0).

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