Tennis to be No. 2 seed in tournament
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 15:04
The UTM tennis team put the finishing touches on the regular season this weekend, sweeping a pair of road matches to close out an 8-1 OVC season.
The Skyhawks – who defeated SIU Edwardsville on Saturday and Eastern Illinois on Sunday by identical 6-1 margins – will enter this weekend’s OVC Tournament as the No. 2 seed and earn an automatic berth into the league semifinals. Earning a first round bye, UTM will play its first match in the tournament at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, facing the winner of the Murray State/Morehead State match. All matches in the tournament will be held at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville.
“Although second place is not what we wanted, I am extremely proud of our team and their accomplishments this year,” Skyhawk head coach Dennis Taylor said. “We lost only one OVC match this season and that was by one point. We are excited to be heading to Nashville to play in the OVC tennis championships.”
At SIU Edwardsville, the Skyhawks won the doubles point with an 8-4 win at No. 1 and an 8-2 victory at No. 2.
Jodie Tiley won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, while Johanie Van Zyl earned a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 2. Ivon Simic (6-0, 6-1), Anna Marie Herbold (6-2, 6-2) and Jessica Silva (6-4, 6-1) also claimed victories at No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.
“The match was played in SIUE’s indoor facility where they practice and play every day,” Taylor said. “The courts were great but the lighting seemed very dim to us. We were at a disadvantage in the beginning but the girls adjusted their game and strategy. By the end of the match they were playing as if it were their home courts.”
Against a hot Eastern Illinois squad that had won four straight OVC matches, the Skyhawks claimed the early advantage by sweeping the doubles point. Tiley and Simic completed their unblemished 9-0 OVC record in doubles with an 8-3 victory at No. 1, while Alice Laing and Anna Winkelmann teamed together at No. 2, recording an 8-7 triumph. Katie McCall and Van Zyl rounded out the sweep with an 8-4 win at No. 3.
Tiley (6-4, 6-0) and Winkelmann (6-3, 6-3) earned wins at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively. Simic posted a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 4, while Herbold won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5. Laing also chalked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 6.
“Today’s match was played under totally different circumstances as Saturday,” Taylor said. “We were playing on Eastern Illinois’ home courts with 20 mile-per-hour winds with gusts up to 30 miles per hour. But again, the girls made some quick adjustments and made it look easy.”