Joplin, MO - The Graceland men's and women's tennis teams both captured the HAAC conference championship and punched their tickets to nationals.
In an ironic setup, both GU tennis teams entered the HAAC tournament as the number one seed, and both would face off against seconded seeded Lewis and Clark State College (ID) in the championship final.
Because of the fewer teams in the men's bracket, the Graceland men received a first round bye straight into the semifinals where they would make quick work of Lindenwood University-Belleville, setting the stage for a showdown between the top two seeds.
The Jackets did not face the Warriors in the regular season, so there would inevitably be an adjustment period early in each match as the two sides tried to get a sense of how their opponent plays.
From there, GU turned up the level a notch and cruised to a 5-1 victory, earning their third straight Conference title.
For the ladies, they would also take two out of three doubles matches as number two pair Melynda Simmons and Sofia Jarmillo cruised to an 8-1 victory while number three partners Jessica Worring and Karina Cardiel won 8-5.
In singles for the women, Worring took the top spot 6-4, 6-0 and Zahra El Otmany won 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. Needing only one more individual result to claim their first ever conference championship, Sofia Jamamillo completed the task for the Lady Jackets, defeating her opponent 7-6, 6-2.
Congratulations to both tennis teams for their championship performances!
The two teams will now turn their attention to Mobile, AL and the NAIA National Championship tournament. The national tournament is set for May 13-17.
Stay tuned to GUJackets.com for continuing coverage of the GU tennis teams and for all Jacket athletics.