The Arkansas Tech Golden Suns tennis team made it to the semi-finals of the Great American Conference in their fight to become the champions. The team swept the competition in their first round against Southern Nazarene then lost to Southeastern Oklahoma in the semi-finals.
The first match was held on Thursday, April 19. During this match, the Golden Suns took a 3-0 lead after winning the doubles as they headed into their singles matches. Annabel Rowlands and Katie Harris put the team ahead of the competition as they defeated their singles opponent. This gave the team the lead they needed to win the match. The final score of this match was 5-2; pushing the Golden Suns into the semi-finals.
The Golden Suns played their second match of the tournament against the No. 2 seed, Southeastern Oklahoma, on Friday, April 20. The Golden Suns lost two of the doubles courts, which put them behind 2-1 to the opponents. Annabel Rowlands and Kami Ward won their doubles court but this was the only court the Golden Suns won the entire match. After the opponents swept the competition in singles; the final score of the match was 5-1. This put Southeastern Oklahoma in the championship match of the Great American Conference.
Throughout the season, the team has had many other victories. One of their first victories included the team receiving a national ranking for their performance on court. Another victory that this team received was being ranking No. 3 in the Great American Conference. Lastly, a victory this team has received was Annabel Rowlands being the fourth player at Arkansas Tech University to have won 100 career matches.
Although the team did not win the conference, Abby Davis, head coach of the Golden Suns, stays hopeful for next year and believe they will be stronger. Davis said, “We were pretty disappointed at the conference tournament. However, we finished one spot higher than we did last year. For next year, I am hoping to get a few more players and do even better in the conference.”
The team is also hopeful for next year and the believes that they will improve. Kami Ward, sophomore bio-medical major from Hot Springs, and student athletic for the tennis team, said, “The team this year had great team dynamic and we worked as hard as we could. This year our team was young and with a bit more experience I think next year we will be better than we were this year.” The team will begin its next season in the fall of 2018.