March 22, 2017

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MARTIN, Tenn. – Currently riding a five-game winning streak, the University of Tennessee at Martin tennis team will host a pair of in-state Ohio Valley Conference rivals this weekend in its first two home matches of the season at Skyhawk Varsity Courts. UT Martin will take on Belmont at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 24 and has rescheduled its Tennessee State match to 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 26 to avoid inclement weather.

The Skyhawks (5-3) are coming off a big win its OVC opener last Saturday, turning away Eastern Kentucky by a 6-1 margin in Richmond. Sarah Candeloro, Burcu Tari and Andrea Plantada Cortes each went undefeated in both singles and doubles action while Jemima Potter (doubles), Hitomi Naito (singles) and Asel Jumamukhambetova (singles) also pitched in with victories to help lead UT Martin to the commanding victory.

In doubles play, the duo of Candeloro and Potter have won three straight decisions at No. 1. That tandem – along with the combinations of Jumamukhambetova/Naito and Plantada Cortes/Tari – each account for a team-high four wins this spring in Skyhawk doubles.

Jumamukhambetova and Tari have each unreeled five consecutive singles victories, tying Candeloro for the team lead with five singles wins this spring.

Belmont enters with a 3-10 overall record and a 1-1 OVC mark, splitting a pair of home matches last weekend against Murray State (won 4-3) and Austin Peay (lost 4-3). Abbie Mather and Suzanna Stapler each won both singles matches over the weekend at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. That duo is tied with Laura Kent for the team lead with five singles wins while the duo of Kent/Laura Van Eeckhoudt have compiled a team-best five doubles wins (all at No. 2).

Tennessee State (5-2, 0-2 OVC) also hosted Austin Peay and Murray State last weekend, falling 5-2 to the Governors and 6-1 to the Racers. Pragati Natraj swept both singles matches at No. 5 to lead the Tigers, improving to a team-best 7-0 in spring singles action. The Tennessee State team of Phyllicia Hemphill and Ani Popiashvili has claimed a 5-1 record in doubles (all at No. 3) so far this spring.

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