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Tigers Have Strong Showing on First Day of ITA Regionals
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Tigers Have Strong Showing on First Day of ITA Regionals

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.. --- The Tennessee State women’s tennis team started the first of four days of action at the ITA Regionals with a number of strong performances on Thursday at the Murphy Center Complex. TSU earned three singles victories against various opponents.  

Phyllicia Hemphill was a late addition to the invite only tournament but proved she belonged there with two wins on the first day. She would defeat Western Kentucky’s Cassie Pennington by scores of 6-2, 6-3. She would follow that up with a win against Mckenzie Barco from UT-Chattanooga as Mckenzie would retire during set two of the match.

Sophomore Ani Popiashvili would record a win as well defeating Elaine Cloern of Wright State by a 6-4, 6-2 score. Popiashvili would then lose her next match to Amina Hadzic of Murray State. Pragati Natraj and Abhilasha Vishwanath both competed hard on the first day losing in their respective match.

“I am very happy with how the girls played today. To get this many wins at the highest level speaks volumes for the program,” Head Coach Monroe Walker said. “It also shows us what we need to work on. We were in every match and showed we belong. I am proud of how we showed up today and made TSU proud. I am looking forward to more tennis tomorrow.”

The Tigers return to action tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

Tennessee State Player Phyllicia Hemphill

  • On how well she played the first day

“I have been working really hard in practice and conditioning this year. I knew this would be the biggest tournament I ever played. I asked coach for extra work and it is paying off so far. I am feeling extremely good about my conditioning and I hope I can keep winning.”

Phyllicia Hemphill (TSU) def. Cassie Pennington (WKU), 6-2, 6-3
Ani Popiashvili (TSU) def. Elaine Cloern (Wright State), 6-4, 6-2
Lauren von Eeckhoudt (Belmont) def. Pragati Natraj (TSU), 6-1,6-2
Taylor Culbertson (Wright State) def. Abhilasha Vishwanath (TSU), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Phyllicia Hemphill (TSU) def. Mackenzie Barco (UTC), 6-0, 1-0 default
Amina Hadzic (Murray State) def. Ani Popiashvili (TSU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3