Texas State tennis began its shortened fall season Oct. 16-18 at the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station, Texas.
Despite not seeing any official competition since March 6, Texas State amassed six total wins at the three-day tournament; a feat deemed impressive considering the big-name programs also in attendance, such as Texas, Texas Tech, Rice, Louisiana State University and Texas A&M.
“We were playing the best of the best,” Head Coach Tory Plunkett said. “We were playing with the big dogs, and we were definitely the underdog coming in.”
“For us to win any match was gonna be a good win. Every win we got was a good win...It was good to get away from San Marcos and compete.”
The Bobcats’ top doubles pairing of seniors Hana Kvapilova and Rishona Lewis, who ranked No. 62 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association last season, beat freshman Jessica Anzo and sophomore Lucia Quiterio of Texas A&M, 7-5.
“Every No. 1 doubles team there was nationally ranked,” Plunkett said. “For us to beat A&M, which was one of the better ones, was a huge victory...for [Rishona Lewis and Kvapilova] and for the program.”
In singles, Kvapilova beat Texas Tech’s freshman Kailey Evans 6-1, 6-7 (8), 6-0. Sophomore Toby Lewis beat freshman Simran Kortikere of Texas in straight sets 6-4 and 6-1.
Rishona Lewis captured her first singles win against 2019 All-American and 2018 NCAA Doubles Champion, senior Eden Richardson of LSU, 2-6, 7-5 and 6-0.
Graduate student Nikita Pradeep got her first win at Texas State versus Rice’s senior Anna Bowtell in straight sets 6-3 and 7-6 (1). Pradeep, who graduated from UC Davis, was a 2018-19 Big West Conference First-Team selection in singles.
“It’s kind of a new experience for [Pradeep],” Plunkett said. “Even though she’s been playing college tennis, it’s new coaches, new atmosphere. She got her first Bobcat win so we were all excited about that.”
On the final day of the tournament, senior Andrea Fuchs defeated Simran Kortikere in straight sets, 6-0 and 6-3, marking her first win of the season.
Plunkett says Fuchs' conditioning and drive led to the win.
“Everybody from [the other teams were] tired...and you look at Andrea and she was ready to go,” Plunkett said. “She had kind of a fire in her belly. She wanted that win, and she went out and got it.”
To close out the short, fall season, the Bobcats will face Lamar in a doubleheader at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Nov. 7.
After this past weekend’s performances, Plunkett says confidence will be the team’s biggest strength going into the matchup against the Cardinals.
“Even in the matches we lost, we were close, we were right there,” Plunkett said. “There were a lot of times the players would walk off and I’d say, ‘Did you walk on that court thinking you can win?’ and they’d say, ‘No. Not really.’ Now they say, ‘Can I play them again?’”
After the outing at Lamar, the Bobcats’ next match will be the spring opener Feb. 5 against Stephen F. Austin.