Murray, Ky. --- The Tennessee State women's tennis team suffered its second Ohio Valley Conference loss, 4-3, at Murray State Saturday afternoon at the Bennie Purcell Tennis Courts.
With a great pre-season, the Tigers hold an overall record of 10-3, 0-2 in the OVC. Murray State boasts an even 6-6 overall record, 2-0 OVC.
The duo of Ani Popiashvili and Pragati Natraj held the best doubles record for TSU, 10-1 before taking on first-time doubles partners Sara Loncarevic and Aarjaat Chakraborty at No. 3 doubles. In a back-and-forth match, the Racers pulled ahead to clinch the doubles point, 6-4.
Despite the Racers clinching the match with wins on courts one, two and four, play continued, and the Tigers put three wins on the board for TSU. Freshman Aarushi Kakkar, voted funniest on the team, and who holds a 9-1 singles record in dual play, won at No. 3, 6-2, 6-3. Abhilasha Vishwanath, is now split in singles conference play after going 6-4, 6-3 over the Racers at No. 5. Rounding out the afternoon was Natraj, who remains undefeated, after beating Sara Bjork at No. 6, 7-5, 7-5.
"I think the girls came out with really good energy today, despite the windy conditions," said junior Pragati Natraj. "We were there in every match and it could have gone either way. We've just got to play doubles smarter because if we can get that doubles point, we have less pressure in singles. I'm excited for the rest of the season and looking forward to winning conference matches as a team."
The Tigers return home March 23 to host SEMO at 2 p.m.
TENNESSEE STATE 3, Murray State 4
1. CHANG,Claire (MUR) def. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) 6-1, 6-0
2. CHAKRABORTY,Aarja (MUR) def. CAGE, Morgan (TSUW) 6-0, 6-1
3. KAKKAR, Aarushi (TSUW) def. SHARAPOVA,Stasya (MUR) 6-2, 6-3
4. HADZIC,Amina (MUR) def. JONES, Ashia (TSUW) 2-6, 6-0, 6-2
5. VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. LONCAREVIC,Sara (MUR) 6-4, 6-3
6. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. BJORK,Sara (MUR) 7-5, 7-5
1. MASSON,Jeanne/CHANG,Claire (MUR) def. CAGE, Morgan/JONES, Ashia (TSUW) 6-0
2. HADZIC,Amina/LONCAREVIC,Anja (MUR) vs. KAKKAR, Aarushi/VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) 4-3, unfinished
3. LONCAREVIC,Sara/CHAKRABORTY,Aarja (MUR) def. NATRAJ, Pragati/POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,2,4,3,5,6)