JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Bucs’ men’s and women’s tennis teams have been playing at the top of the SoCon for the last several years.
Over the weekend, both squads came home with the hardware to prove it.
The ETSU men ran through the conference tournament field, winning all three matches in shutout fashion. They beat No. 2 seed Mercer and No. 1 seed Chattanooga after losing tight contests to both back in March.
“I knew we were going to win,” ETSU senior Dimitri Badra said on Monday. “But for the freshmen and everything it was, kind of, transmitting the message to them – transmitting the energy so they could believe that we could win.”
The win gave the program its fifth-consecutive SoCon title and 12th conference title in total.
The ETSU women have spent the last few years playing for a SoCon championship, but never winning one. Saturday was their sixth-consecutive title match appearance. But, in each of the previous five, Furman had gotten the better of the Blue and Gold.
The program turned the tides this past weekend, shutting-out the Paladins and hoisting the trophy for the first time since 2016.
“You imagine this moment in your head, you imagine how you lift this trophy up and whenever it finally happens, it’s like this huge weight off your shoulders and it’s like – we did it,” ETSU redshirt senior Laylo Bakhodirova said.
“Super excited,” ETSU women’s tennis head coach Ricky Rojas added. “You always try to have a vision of what’s going to happen. Honestly, the best thing for me was just kind of seeing them celebrate. That was the best part by far.”
Both squads will receive automatic qualification into the NCAA Tournament. They will find out their opponents during the selection shows, which are slated for the evening of Monday, May 1.