HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --- Dominant singles play proved successful for the Tennessee State women's team as they journey back to Nashville with a 5-2 victory over Alabama A&M. The Tigers broke its three-match losing streak and improved its overall record to 11-4, before heading back into conference play after a Thursday match versus Bethel-TN.
Pragati Natraj and Ani Popiashvili granted the Tigers its only doubles win on court three, giving Alabama A&M the doubles point along with the upper hand leading into singles - and the Tiger women felt the pressure.
The pressure turned into triumph as Big Blue put up major wins on five of the six singles courts. Popiashvili took down Virag Hollos in a tiebreaker set (6-2, 0-6, 6-4) at No. 1, while fellow juniors Abhilasha Vishwanath defeated Mashego 6-0, 6-3, and undefeated Natraj continued her streak with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court six.
Freshman Aarushi Kakkar also won her 10th dual singles match as a Tiger, going 6-4, 6-3 over Rida Khalid. A final win on court five by Ashia Jones put the Tigers up 5-2 over the Bulldogs, allowing TSU to bring home its second road win of the spring.
"I think the team bounced back after losing the doubles point," said Abhilasha Vishwanath. "We fought hard all through the singles line up and came up with a good win before we head to more OVC matches this weekend."
Big Blue will host Bethel-TN Thursday, March 29 afternoon at the Currey Tennis Center, then head to Illinois to take on SIUE and EIU.
TENNESSEE STATE 5, Alabama A&M 2
1. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) def. HOLLOS, Virag (AAMU) 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
2. GUTIERREZ CEREZO, B (AAMU) def. CAGE, Morgan (TSUW) 6-1, 6-0
3. KAKKAR, Aarushi (TSUW) def. KHALID, Rida (AAMU) 6-4, 6-3
4. VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. MASHEGO, Nthabiseng (AAMU) 6-0, 6-3
5. JONES, Ashia (TSUW) def. KAWAI RENGIIL, Ayana (AAMU) 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
6. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. SMITH, Shrarre (AAMU) 6-3, 6-4
1. HOLLOS, Virag/KHALID, Rida (AAMU) def. CAGE, Morgan/JONES, Ashia (TSUW) 6-2
2. GUTIERREZ CEREZO, B/WILLIAMS, Alyssa (AAMU) def. KAKKAR, Aarushi/VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) 6-3
3. POPIASHVILI, Ani/NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. MASHEGO, Nthabiseng/KAWAI RENGIIL, Ayana (AAMU) 6-1