SAPSU came away with a 6-1 victory in their non-conference finale over Western Kentucky on March, 19, 2021. ERIC ELLIOT | APSU ATHLETICS

The APSU women’s tennis team finished their non-conference schedule with a 6-1 victory over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and head into Ohio Valley Conference play with a 5-1 record.

After dropping their first match, the Governors came back and secured the doubles point after the No. 1 doubles pairing of Fabienne Schmidt/Danielle Morris and No. 3 duo of Aleks Topalovic/Jana Leder came away with wins.

With their doubles victory, Schmidt and Morris finish non-conference play a perfect 6-0. While impressed with the duo thus far, head coach Ross Brown says they each have room for improvement going forward.

“They’re fabulous Fabi and dynamite Danni,” Brown said. “Both of them are very solid players and bring stability to their position on the team and I am really pleased that we have them, to be honest.”

Schmidt and Morris were each named to the 2020 OVC Women’s Tennis Preseason Player Top-10 List prior to the season and have shown that they are each deserving of the honor thus far. 

In singles, the Govs picked up four straight points beginning with their third preseason award winner, Jana Leder, who made quick work of her opponent from the No. 3 position.  

Martina Paladini-Jennings picked up a two-set victory over her opponent, followed by Honoka Nakanishi, who claimed APSU’s fourth point and secured the victory for the Govs.

Fabienne Schmidt finished her singles battle with a win from the No. 1 position; however, WKU spoiled APSU’s clean sweep when Laura Bernados defeated Morris in three sets from the No. 2.

Fabienne Schmidt leads the Governors from the No. 1 singles position with a 5-1 record.

Topalovic ended the match with a nail-biting win over Alexis Cramer to send the Hilltoppers back to Bowling Green, Ky. with a loss and hand APSU their sixth point and fifth win of the season.

The Governors head into conference play with momentum on their side following three straight victories over.

After their season was canceled prior to the start of conference play in 2020, the team will officially begin their 2019 OVC regular season and tournament championship defense when they host Jacksonville State Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m. 

The Governors swept the Gamecocks 7-0 in their last meeting which came on March 29, 2019 and have come out on top in three of their last four meetings.

“I think we certainly have the ability to win conference, there is no question about that,” Brown said. “…What it is going to take to be successful in conference is each and every player playing their role. That role is taking heart and courage and being brave enough to, when it gets close, to play the points rather than push or guard or hope that your opponent’s going to make a mistake and be brave enough to make them make a mistake at that particular point in time. 

“We have got to project a strong image no matter what is going on. If the women can do that, then I think good things are going to happen.”



1. Fabienne Schmidt/Danielle Morris (APSU) def. Cora-Lynn vonDungern/Lisa Friess (WKU) 6-3

2. Jana Leder/ Aleks Topalovic (APSU) def. Laura Bernardos/Samantha Martinez (WKU) 6-4

3. Tristen Bryant-Otake/Lauren Joch (WKU) def. Ana Albertson/Honoka Nakanishi (APSU) 6-1

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2*


1. Fabienne Schmidt (APSU) def. Cora-Lynn vonDungern (WKU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2

2. Laura Bernardos (WKU) def. Danielle Morris (APSU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 10-3

3. Jana Leder (APSU) def. Lauren Joch (WKU) 6-2, 6-1

4. Martina Paladini-Jennings (APSU) def. Tristen Bryant-Otake (WKU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)

5. Aleks Topalovic (APSU) def. Lisa Friess (WKU) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)

6. Honoka Nakanishi (APSU) def. Alexis Cramer (WKU) 6-3, 7-5

Order of finish: 3, 4, 6*, 1, 2, 5