DAYTON, Ohio – Squaring off with Atlantic 10 opponent Dayton, the TSU women’s tennis team was handed a 6-1 road loss on Friday at the Five Seasons Sports Park. Phyllicia Hemphill (Nashville, Tenn.) secured a singles victory for the Tigers on the evening.
Tennessee State (4-1) dropped the doubles point as Dayton (7-2) took an early 1-0 lead. Moving onto singles, the Flyers took the top five singles matches with TSU’s victory coming courtesy of Hemphill at No. 6 singles.
“I was not pleased with the level of play today from the ladies as a whole,” TSU Head Coach Monroe Walker III said. “We didn’t think out there, and it showed. Pragati (Natraj) played really well and could have won. It was great to see Phyllicia (Hemphill) pull out a win. She is working hard. We need to look deep in and improve and play better tomorrow (at Northern Kentucky).
Going head-to-head with Dayton’s Kristina Benjamin at No. 6, Hemphill won in straight sets, winning by scores of 6-3, 6-4.
In a match that went down to the wire, Pragati Natraj (Bangalore, India) and Alex Townsend went back and forth at No. 2 singles. Townsend won the first set, 7-5, but Natraj answered with a 6-4 victory in the second set before Townsend pulled up an 11-9 win in the tiebreaker.
The Tigers will look to bounce back tomorrow with a match at Northern Kentucky.
1. BRIDGHAM, Marlys/KILSTOFTE, Mattea (DAY) vs. POPIASHVILI, Ani/NATRAJ, Pragati (TSU) 5-3, unfinished
2. KAWAMOTO, Jackie/TOWNSEND, Alex (DAY) def. PATTERSON, Taylor/VISHWANATH, A. (TSU) 6-1
3. MARCHANT, Mandy/KAWAMOTO, Jade (DAY) def. GANDY, Phoenix/HEMPHILL, Phyllicia (TSU) 6-0
1. BRIDGHAM, Marlys (DAY) def. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSU) 6-1, 6-0
2. TOWNSEND, Alex (DAY) def. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSU) 7-5, 4-6, 11-9
3. KILSTOFTE, Mattea (DAY) def. VISHWANATH, A. (TSU) 6-4, 6-4
4. KAWAMOTO, Jade (DAY) def. GANDY, Phoenix (TSU) 6-1, 6-1
5. MARCHANT, Mandy (DAY) def. PATTERSON, Taylor (TSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. HEMPHILL, Phyllicia (TSU) def. BENJAMIN, Kristina (DAY) 6-3, 6-4