NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State women's team fell, 4-3, to the Southeast Missouri Redhawks in its Ohio Valley Conference home opener Friday afternoon at Hadley Park.
The women are now 10-4 overall, 0-3 in conference play, while the Redhawks improve to 4-7 overall, 1-1 in the OVC.
Big Blue began doubles play with an energy that pushed them to win on courts one and two, to clinch the point. Freshman Morgan Cage and sophomore Ashia Jones paired up at No. 1 to win their first doubles match of the season, 6-4. At No. 2, Aarushi Kakkar and Abhilasha Vishwanath worked through SEMO's Anais Emelie and Oleksandra Doroshenko, clinching the doubles point with a 6-4 victory.
Up 1-0, the Tigers had a chance to make quick work of the Redhawks, but struggled to maintain the energy that pushed them through doubles. Southeast Missouri defeated each of the Tiger women on courts one through four, stealing the match from the Tigers.
The remainder of the two points for TSU came from Pragati Natraj at No. 6, who remains undefeated with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Maja Lundell, and Abhilasha Vishwanath who captured her first set, 6-4, before her opponent Kelly Sicha took set two, 7-6 to force a tiebreaker. The two played one game before Sicha retired, giving Vishwanath a victory.
The Tigers return to the court next week as it hosts Bethel-TN at Vanderbilt, Thursday, March 29 at 11 a.m.
TENNESSEE STATE 3, SEMO 4
1. DOROSHENKO, O. (SEMO) def. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) 6-4, 6-0
2. ZONOVA, Kseniya (SEMO) def. CAGE, Morgan (TSUW) 6-0, 6-1
3. MAYA THOMPSON, A. (SEMO) def. KAKKAR, Aarushi (TSUW) 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
4. EMELIE, Anais (SEMO) def. JONES, Ashia (TSUW) 6-2, 6-2
5. VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. SICHA, Kelly (SEMO) 6-4, 6-7, 1-0, retired
6. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. LUNDELL, Maja (SEMO) 6-2, 6-4
1. CAGE, Morgan/JONES, Ashia (TSUW) def. MAYA THOMPSON, A./LUNDELL, Maja (SEMO) 6-4
2. KAKKAR, Aarushi/VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. EMELIE, Anais/DOROSHENKO, O. (SEMO) 6-4
3. NATRAJ, Pragati/POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) vs. ZONOVA, Kseniya/SICHA, Kelly (SEMO) 6-5, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (2,1,4,6,3,5)