92ºF

University of Incarnate Word men's tennis team wins first Division I title in program history

UIW men's tennis is headed to the Southland Conference Tournament

SAN ANTONIO – With a sweep over Abilene Christian University on Saturday the UIW Cardinals have earned their first regular-season title in program history. 

The team is now headed into the Southland Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Doubles took the court first, and gave the Cardinals a quick 1-0 lead. 

Senior Joey Vatanadilok won both of his singles matches, 6-3, 6-1, becoming number four in the match singles. Number three, Sebastian Mortier, added another singles win to the Cardinals lead.

But they weren't done yet. Junior; Paco Bendana;  clinched the match and the Southland Conference title with his 6-3, 7-6 victory and finished number two in singles.

"Everyone worked really hard for this moment. In the beginning, we were just taking it match by match. We kept winning and put ourselves in the driver's seat. We have always believed in each other," Bendana said, "We've been working hard. It's a good win and we're anxious to see what we can do in (the) conference (tournament)."

The 7-0 sweep was thrilling, according to the players. But they understand they start at 0-0 again at the start of the tournament. 

"We have to go earn it," Bendana said.

The Cardinals will go to work at the SLC tournament the weekend of April 27 in Beaumont.