» By TRENT SINGER – tsinger@my.apsu.edu

The Govs and Lady Govs tennis teams headed into this weekend’s first games of the season against Ohio Valley Conference opponents on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, with a 1-4 combined record throughout the month, but that didn’t seem to faze either team.

The games took place at the outdoor courts, as the Govs defeated Murray State, 6-1, on Friday and SIU Edwardsville, 7-0, on Saturday.

The Lady Govs also managed to win their first conference game of the season by defeating SIU Edwardsville, 5-2, on Saturday.

Winning in dominant fashion, the Govs defeated Murray State by sweeping the Racers in doubles competition and losing all but one match in singles play.

Head coach Malik Tabet spoke to APSU Sports Information after the game about the significance of the conference victory.

“This match was important for us to set the tone for conference play,” Tabet said. “I thought we lacked some of the intensity that we had against South Alabama [last week], but overall it was a good match. We got out to a good start in doubles and we carried it over well into singles play.”

Despite struggling in the team’s losses to Troy and South Alabama, sophomore Jasmin Ademovic regained much-needed confidence by winning over the weekend in singles play, as well as doubles victories with the help of teammate John Storie.

“We played well at the top of the lineup,” Tabet said. “That said, we have to be better at the bottom. The bottom of the lineup is where you win championships.”

As the men’s team rolled past SIU Edwardsville, 7-0, on Saturday, the women’s team followed suit, winning 5-2 over the Cougars.

Senior Vanja Tomic won her 11th consecutive singles match as the Lady Govs faced little to no problem winning their first conference matchup.

Among the team’s winners were freshmen Ornella Di Salvo and Alison Carre, along with sophomore Andra Cornea.

The women’s team will now look to extend their success on the road against MTSU on Tuesday, March 20, Southeast Missouri on Saturday, March 24, and UT Martin on Sunday, March 25.

Meanwhile, the men’s team will host Eastern Illinois next week on Tuesday, March 27, in another important OVC contest. TAS