UT MARTIN EARNS SPOT IN OVC TOURNAMENT FIELD AFTER GRITTY 4-3 WIN AT SIUE
April 13, 2018
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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis team officially clinched a postseason berth with an exhilarating 4-3 triumph at Ohio Valley Conference rival SIUE this afternoon.
The Skyhawks improve to 4-4 in OVC play with one regular season match remaining. With the victory, UT Martin will make its 25th appearance out of 26 years in the upcoming OVC Tournament, which will be held at the Centennial Sportsplex Tennis Center on April 20-22.
“Making the tournament is a tremendous accomplishment for this group,” Skyhawk head coach Dennis Taylor said. “They are young and inexperienced but they did not let that stop them from improving. They have all worked extremely hard at every practice and deserve a spot in the tournament – all of the hard work began to pay off about halfway through the OVC season. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that counts. I am so proud of this group and we are all looking forward to our trip to Nashville.”
For the fourth straight match, UT Martin won the all-important doubles point. Andrea Plantada and Amelia Campbell got things rolling with a 6-0 victory at No. 3 while Olha Burak and Mizuki Sakurai made short work of their opposition at No. 2, piecing together a 6-1 triumph.
The Skyhawks then won each of their first three singles matchups, starting with Burak’s 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 4. Sakurai followed with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep at No. 5 while Campbell earned a 6-1, 6-0 triumph at No. 6.
UT Martin nearly earned a sweep but came up just short in the top three singles matches. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 matchups were decided in a third set tiebreaker while the No. 3 match came down to a 7-6, 7-6 score.
The Skyhawks wrap up the regular season with an indoor matchup at Eastern Illinois tomorrow. The start time has been pushed back to 12:30 p.m. because of the threat of inclement weather.