Women's Tennis opens season in OVC play against Southeast Missouri State
Friday, March 12, 2010

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University women's tennis team will open the 2010 campaign when they host Southeast Missouri State on Friday (3/12) at the TSU Tennis Complex.

The Ohio Valley Conference match is slated for 2 p.m.

The Tigers enter their first match of the season after finishing 0-13 last year. The women return four players in seniors Meagan Haynes, Penelope Johnson, junior Lezlie Knight, and sophomore Lia Stewart. The team lost four players from last year while adding freshmen Kwatema Mensah and Khadijah Williams to the roster.

Haynes returns as the number one player for the Tigers in singles competition with 13 matches and is one-half of the top doubles combination with Johnson. Stewart posted the only win in singles play for TSU last season going 1-7 in OVC play.

Against the Redhawks (1-7, 0-1 OVC) the Tigers trail the all-time series, 2-14, which include nine straight losses dating back to 2001.

In their last meeting, SEMO walked away with a 4-2 decision in Cape Girardeau, Mo. over the Tigers for their only win of the year. Stewart and Dania Lofton were the only Tigers to post team points with decisions in the No. 4 and No. 6 singles play.

The Redhawks enter on a three-game skid dropping their first conference match of the year in their last outing, 7-0, against Murray State (3/11). SEMO posted their last win edging out Niagara, 4-3, at the IPFW Invitational on Feb. 21.

SEMO, experiencing tough play, is posting a .208 average in singles and a .167 average in doubles play.

Nikole Novikova, who currently manages a 3-5 overall record including a 3-4 mark at the No. 1 position, leads the Redhawks. She has lost her last three match-ups after starting the year with a 2-1 record.

In doubles play, SEMO has posted four wins with three different combinations. Novikova is joined by Alyce Kelly at the No. 1 seed in doubles play posting a 1-5 record on the year. Kelly and Elise Nattier are 1-1 (No.2) with the duo of Diana Donoslovic and Ashton Hartley coming in with a similar record at No. 3.

The women will return to action on Saturday, March 13, awhen they host UT Martin in league action. The match is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the TSU Tennis Complex.

*All matches held at the TSU Tennis Complex. If raining, matches held inside the tennis bubble.