After losing their first spring match of the 2020 season, the APSU women’s tennis team has found their groove.
The Governors have won seven straight since the opener against Chattanooga, four of which coming as shutout victories. The Govs hosted Cumberland and Carson Newman this week, defeating both by a combined 13-1.
APSU came into the week off a perfect weekend series in Dayton, OH against Wright State and Dayton University. Head coach Ross Brown stated the weekend in Ohio contributed to the team’s current success.
“I was really pleased because we lost some first sets,” Brown said. “The ladies stayed tough even though things weren’t going our way. The women stayed tough and found a way to get back into the match.”
The Governors swept Tuesday’s doubles matches against Cumberland with ease, winning 6-1, 6-0, and 6-2. The combination of Ana Albertson and Sara Heckel improved their doubles win streak to six straight, improving to 6-1 on the spring.
“Today, Sara [Heckel] and I started out a bit slow,” said Albertson on the match against the Phoenix. “They [Cumberland] are kind of interesting to play, because they don’t necessarily hit the ball as hard, but they’re kind of crafty players.”
Heckel and Albertson finished the fall semester 0-4 in doubles play. The senior from Woodstock, GA accredits an acclamation to the right side of the court in doubles to the success for the duo this season.
The pairing would go on to defeat Anita Chornei and Alisa Liashova of Carson-Newman 6-2 on Friday to continue their hot streak.
The Govs won the singles matches handily on Tuesday, with all six players defeating the Phoenix in straight sets. Ainhoa Garrido would be the closest of the Cumberland players to reach a set victory. Garrido would eventually drop the match to junior Fabienne Schmidt 6-0, 7-5.
APSU would see more of the same on Valentine’s day, Alisa Liashova winning the lone singles match for the Eagles in the sixth singles game 6-3 and 6-2.
Despite the lost possibility of a sweep against Carson-Newman, the other five Govs would win in straight sets. Of those five, Aleks Topalovic and Jana Leder would shutout their Friday opponents.
A combination of the top-three Governors’ singles players (Schmidt, Jana Leder, and Danielle Morris) improved to an impressive 23-1 on the season. The trio’s only loss came from Danielle Morris Jan. 24 against Fuka Nonoyama of Central Arkansas.
Momentum from wins over Cumberland and Carson-Newman will be crucial as APSU travels to Louisville Feb 21.
Brown expressed the necessity of winning the doubles’ point for potential success in the remainder of the season. “The key for us down the road is to win the doubles’ point. We are good enough to win three out of six singles against anyone that we play. That doubles point is extremely important.”