UT MARTIN COMPETES WITH THE BEST AT THE 2017 ITA OHIO VALLEY REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
October 15, 2017
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin held its own against some stiff competition throughout the five-day, 27-team Intercollegiate Tennis Association Ohio Valley Regional Championships, which was held at the Adams Tennis Complex.
Although only three of eight Skyhawks are playing at full strength at this point in the fall, UT Martin displayed positive results – including an impressive victory over Louisville to advance to the round-of-32 in the main doubles draw.
“We always get a lot of satisfaction when we can have wins over big programs like Louisville,” Skyhawk head coach Dennis Taylor said. “It just confirms that we are on the right track with what we have been working on in practice. I will be excited to see what the girls can do if we can get them healthy and playing at 100 percent.”
The UT Martin junior duo of Asel Jumamukhambetova and Jemima Potter came away with the big victory over Louisville, defeating Ariana Rodriguez and Tiffany Huber by an 8-4 margin. The Skyhawk tandem narrowly fell to Western Kentucky in the next round but seemed to be on their way to another win in the consolation round before a slim 8-7 (4) setback to Ball State.
A trio of UT Martin representatives also dialed up victories in singles play as the Skyhawks were pitted with several tough draws against regionally ranked opponents.
Jumamukhambetova earned a hard-fought 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Jade Kawamoto from Dayton before falling 6-1, 6-4 to the No. 17 ranked player in the region, Hanna Sohn from Memphis.
In the B Flight singles, freshman Mizuki Sakurai tacked on another UT Martin victory. She made short work of Tennessee State’s Morgan Cage (6-2, 6-1) before falling in the next round to Evansville’s Andrea Pascual Larranga – who eventually went on to win the entire 64-player flight.
Senior Elina Geut also managed a victory in the main draw consolation bracket, turning away IUPUI’s Samantha Mayer in a marathon decision (6-1, 1-6, 14-12).
Potter and Jule Streif also nearly nabbed singles victories but ran into some tough luck with three-set losses to Eastern Kentucky and Wright State, respectively.
Sakurai and Amelia Campbell also teamed up for the first time and almost came away with a win in their tournament debut before falling 8-6 to a team from Miami (Ohio).
The Skyhawks close out their 2017 fall schedule in two weeks when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. for a tournament hosted by Alabama on Oct. 27-29.