TENNIS SQUAD COMPETES AGAINST STACKED FIELD IN MEMPHIS FALL INVITATIONAL
October 15, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis team was one of four teams to compete in the Memphis Fall Invitational this past weekend at the Racquet Club of Memphis.
Host Memphis (Conference USA), Drake (Missouri Valley Conference) and Loyola Marymount (West Coast Conference) joined the Skyhawks in a field that head coach Dennis Taylor knew would challenge his squad.
“We knew going in that all three of these teams were a level or two above any we have played in years but we felt that if we were going to develop into a strong team, we needed the challenge,” Taylor said. “We were actually more competitive than I thought we would be. We probably learned more from this tournament than any we have played this fall.”
The Skyhawks battled Loyola Marymount in singles play on Friday. UT Martin junior Ivon Simic went toe-to-toe with April Bisharat at No. 1 before narrowly falling 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Johanie Van Zyl fell by a 6-1, 6-1 margin, while Anna Marie Herbold dropped a 6-2, 6-3 decision. Anna Winkelmann (6-4, 6-1), Alice Laing (6-2, 6-1) and Jessica Silva (6-2, 6-1) all battled before falling.
In doubles action on Friday, Van Zyl and Katie McCall teamed to give the No. 31 ranked team in the nation a run for its money before falling 8-2 to Memphis’ Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibberd. Simic and Herbold fell 8-3 while Florence Nicole and Silva were defeated by an 8-1 margin.
Simic claimed a gritty victory (4-6, 6-3, 6-1) against Drake’s top player Van Genechten to open Saturday’s slate for UT Martin. Herbold competed until the end in a 6-4, 6-3 loss, while Van Zyl kept it close before falling 6-0, 7-2 (2). Laing nearly came up with a victory but fell 6-4, 7-5, while Silva (lost 6-2, 6-2) and Winkelmann (fell 6-0, 6-0) also competed against Drake.
The Skyhawks were responsible for a trio of close matches in Saturday doubles against Memphis, but couldn’t pull off a victory. Laing and Winkelmann fell 8-2 to the No. 31 ranked team of Welcher and Hibberd, while Simic/Herbold (lost 8-6) and Van Zyl/McCall (8-4) were competitive in their matchups.
On Sunday, UT Martin was matched up against Memphis in singles. Herbold held her own in a narrow 6-4, 6-4 loss, while Simic battled before falling 6-3, 6-1. McCall (6-1, 6-2), Nicole (6-1, 6-1), Silva (6-1, 6-0) and Winkelmann (6-0, 6-0) were defeated to round out the Skyhawks’ singles participation in the tournament.
Sunday’s doubles slate paired the Skyhawks against both Drake and Loyola Marymount. Simic and Herbold battled in both of their matches (lost 9-7 against Loyola Marymount, 8-3 against Drake), followed by McCall and Van Zyl (lost 8-4 against Loyola Marymount, 8-0 against Drake). Nicole and Silva teamed up against Drake, falling 8-3, while Laing and Winkelmann were defeated 8-3 by Loyola Marymount.
The Skyhawks conclude their fall schedule with a three-day Arkansas State Tournament in Jonesboro, Ark. on Nov. 2-4.