MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Tennessee State women’s tennis team earned a pair of victories on the road on Saturday by defeating Rhodes by a 6-2 margin before beating LeMoyne-Owen, 9-0.
The two matches were the final tests for TSU before beginning Ohio Valley Conference play on March 19 with a home match versus Jacksonville State.
“The ladies played really well,” TSU Head Coach Monroe Walker III said. “We need to finish off our opponents faster and not let them stay around. They hadn’t played outside, and they handled it well. We have work to do before conference play, but it’s always good to leave 2-0.”
-- Tennessee State 6, Rhodes 2 --
Tennessee State cruised to a 6-2 victory over Rhodes in the first match of the day at the Dunavant Tennis Complex. The Tigers won two of the doubles matches and picked up wins in four singles matches.
At the No. 1 doubles slot, Pragati Natraj (Bangalore, India) and Abhilasha Vishwanath (Bangalore, India) secured a hard-fought 9-7 win. Also picking up a doubles victory were Ani Popiashvili (Tbilisi, Georgia) and Phyllicia Hemphill (Nashville, Tenn.) at No. 3 by a score of 8-1.
Popiashvili went on to win her No. 1 singles match in three sets. Natraj won in straight sets at No. 2 singles, while Vishwanath was victorious at No. 4 and Taylor Patterson (Munford, Tenn.) also won at No. 5 singles. Hemphill was leading at No. 6 singles in a match that went unfinished.
1. NATRAJ, Pragati/VISHWANATH, A. (TSU) def. DOHERTY, Caroline/VOLKOV, Anna (RHO) 9-7
2. WILKINS, Morgan/ABBOTT, Sara Lynn (RHO) def. GANDY, Phoenix/PATTERSON, Taylor (TSU) 8-2
3. POPIASHVILI, Ani/HEMPHILL, Phyllicia (TSU) def. AMARO, Jessie/THOMAS, Annie (RHO) 8-1
1. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSU) def. DOHERTY, Caroline (RHO) 6-1, 6-7, 6-0
2. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSU) def. VOLKOV, Anna (RHO) 6-3, 6-1
3. WILKINS, Morgan (RHO) def. GANDY, Phoenix (TSU) 6-1, 6-3
4. VISHWANATH, A. (TSU) def. ABBOTT, Sara Lynn (RHO) 6-1, 6-0
5. PATTERSON, Taylor (TSU) def. AMARO, Jessie (RHO) 6-3, 6-1
6. HEMPHILL, Phyllicia (TSU) leading THOMAS, Annie (RHO) 4-5, unfinished
-- Tennessee State 9, LeMoyne-Owen 0 --
Facing a short-handed LeMoyne-Owen squad, the Tigers easily earned a 9-0 road victory at the Bellevue Tennis Center.
Playing together for the second time on the day, Hemphill and Popiashvili paired for an 8-0 No. 1 doubles victory, with the Patterson/Phoenix Gandy (Atlanta, Ga.) duo picking up an identical 8-0 win at No. 2 doubles.
The Tigers continued to roll in singles play, winning at the top four slots.
1. HEMPHILL, Phyllicia/POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSU) def. SHUMPERT, Keyaira/MILLBROOK, Trakeisha (LMC) 8-0
2. PATTERSON, Taylor/GANDY, Phoenix (TSU) def. WRIGHT, Cheyeme/JOINER, Lauryn (LMC) 8-0
3. NATRAJ, Pragati/VISHWANATH, A. (TSU) def. No player/No player (LMC), by default
1. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSU) def. SHUMPERT, Keyaira (LMC) 6-0, 6-0
2. PATTERSON, Taylor (TSU) def. MILLBROOK, Trakeisha (LMC) 6-0, 6-0
3. MOSES, Blair (TSU) def. WRIGHT, Cheyeme (LMC) 6-0, 6-0
4. HEMPHILL, Phyllicia (TSU) def. JOINER, Lauryn (LMC) 6-0, 6-0
5. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSU) def. No player (LMC), by default
6. VISHWANATH, A. (TSU) def. No player (LMC), by default