Tennis aces senior day

| April 12, 2016
Tyler Baker and Jessica Pérez. Photo by Benjamin Robson

Tyler Baker and Jessica Pérez. Photo by Benjamin Robson

Both men’s and women’s tennis hit grand slams on senior day, both taking away wins. Men’s tennis blanked Lenior Rhyne for their sixth straight win. The women followed suit and defeated the Bears 7-0 Sunday April 10, giving them a three-match winning streak.

The teams are headlined by four seniors.

On the men’s team is Jordi Massallé Ferrer and Vikram Hundal. Playing their last match in the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex for the women’s squad were Tyler Baker and Jessica Pérez.

With their win in the number one doubles, Massallé Ferrer and Hundal record their 19th win of the season. The two are on a five-match winning streak and have recorded a win against a nationally ranked opponent.

The two excel in singles too. Massallé Ferrer is 15-6 overall this season. He has 93 career singles wins – the most in Charlotte 49ers program history. Hundal is currently on a six-match win streak for singles, and is 15-7 in single matches this season.

His sophomore season, Massallé Ferrer, coupled with another player, reached the program’s highest doubles ranking when Intercollegiate Tennis Association placed them 31st on their poll. His junior season he was ranked 18th in the ITA rankings and was named first-team All-Conference USA in singles.

Hundal transferred to Charlotte last year after playing two seasons at Georgia Tech. In Georgia, he was part of a double team that made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship during the 2013 season. In the Queen City he was named to first-team All-C-USA in doubles after his tandem with Jack Williams won 18 doubles matches. Though he was only in Charlotte for two seasons, Hundal still proved to be a critical part of the team.

“It’s a little bittersweet, it’s nice to end on a high note,” Hundal said.

Vikram Hundal (left) and Jordi Massallé Ferrer (right) engage in a doubles match. Photo by Bejamin Robson

Vikram Hundal (left) and Jordi Massallé Ferrer (right) engage in a doubles match. Photo by Bejamin Robson

Baker tallied her 11th win in doubles play Sunday, April 10 and now has 17 wins in the singles column. During her freshman and sophomore season Baker won many three-set decisions against opponents including East Carolina, Wofford, Gardner-Webb and Furman. Baker finished her junior season with a combined 35 wins, tying for the team high. She had the fewest losses in singles with only three.

Her tennis career is not over yet, as Baker plans to continue practicing the sport by coaching. From her time spent in the Charlotte uniform, Baker will take away multiple life lessons including team work.

“I think working as a team is the main thing I learned and just taking the team aspect into life and knowing you have to work with other people,” Baker said.

Excelling both on and off the court is Pérez. She has won various accolades for both her athletic and academic achievements during her time at Charlotte. Being named to the Chancellor’s List or the Athletic Director’s List during all of her semesters is just the beginning of her academic accomplishments.  Pérez has six wins in singles this season and recorded her first win in a doubles match on senior day.

During her time in the Queen City, Pérez has made memories and friends that will last a lifetime.

“I was on this court and a deer landed on my court. It was so unexpected and I will never forget it,” Pérez said. “It’s nice having that built-in group of people that are there for me and care for me.”

Jessica Pérez reaches for a forehand hit. Photo by Benjamin Robson

Jessica Pérez reaches for a forehand hit. Photo by Benjamin Robson

Though the teams are done with home play, there are two more matches for the 49ers before the conference tournament. For all of the seniors, winning a conference tournament would be the cherry on top of a spectacular season.

“I’m excited to finish out the season and hopefully win conference. Winning conference, getting to wear a conference ring is my goal,” Hundal said.

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Category:Sports, Tennis

Kathleen Cook Kathleen Cook is the sports editor of the Niner Times and from Wake Forest, North Carolina. When the junior communication major/journalism minor isn't covering the 49ers, she enjoys spending time with her family, friend, and dog. Kathleen can also be found cheering on the Panthers every Sunday and rooting for the Washington Nationals.

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Kathleen Cook Kathleen Cook is the sports editor of the Niner Times and from Wake Forest, North Carolina. When the junior communication major/journalism minor isn't covering the 49ers, she enjoys spending time with her family, friend, and dog. Kathleen can also be found cheering on the Panthers every Sunday and rooting for the Washington Nationals.

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