NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State women’s tennis team earned its first Ohio Valley Conference victory of the season, defeating visiting Belmont by a 5-1 final score at the Hadley Park Bubble on Thursday afternoon. It was TSU's first OVC women's tennis win since a 4-3 victory at Southeast Missouri on April 14, 2001.
“I am very happy with the way the ladies played today,” TSU Head Coach Monroe Walker III said. “Not only did they win, but they won convincingly. I couldn’t be more proud of them. They bought into what we are trying to do and they worked hard. It showed today. We are very happy with the win and going to try to use the momentum to play well again tomorrow.”
After going 0-15 last season, including a 0-9 OVC record, TSU (7-3, 1-1 OVC) won its first OVC match, while Belmont falls to 2-8 overall and 0-2 in the OVC.
At No. 1 singles, Ani Popiashvili (Tbilisi, Georgia) played her way to a hard-fought three-set victory over Laura Van Eeckhoudt, 7-6, 4-6, 6-2.
Pragati Natraj (Bangalore, India) earned a No. 2 singles win by scores of 6-4, 6-3 in her match against Kendall Warren, while Abhilasha Vishwanath (Bangalore, India) added a 6-0, 6-2 No. 4 singles victory versus Ann Lauren Fiepke.
The Tigers picked up another victory at No. 5 singles courtesy of Taylor Patterson (Munford, Tenn.) thanks to a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over Maddie Gilley. Closing out the victory, Phyllicia Hemphill (Nashville, Tenn.) downed Jenna Krakau, 6-4, 6-3.
The match was originally scheduled to be played outdoors but was switched to the indoor facility due to inclement weather. Doubles matches were not played.
TSU returns to action to face Morehead State tomorrow at noon at Hadley Park.
1. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) def. Laura Van Eeckhoudt (BELW) 7-6, 4-6, 6-2
2. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. Kendall Warren (BELW) 6-4, 6-3
3. Suzanna Stapler (BELW) def. GANDY, Phoenix (TSUW) 6-4, 6-4
4. VISHWANATH, A. (TSUW) def. Ann Lauren Fiepke (BELW) 6-0, 6-2
5. PATTERSON, Taylor (TSUW) def. Maddie Gilley (BELW) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
6. HEMPHILL, Phyllicia (TSUW) def. Jenna Krakau (BELW) 6-4, 6-3