UNION CITY, Tenn. – Playing in front of its adopted “hometown crowd”, The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis team fed off the energy of the fans to claim a 4-3 win over SIU Edwardsville in both team’s Ohio Valley Conference opener this afternoon.
Because of construction on the Skyhawk Varsity Courts, UT Martin (2-8, 1-0 OVC) was forced to move its home match to the Union City Middle School courts. Skyhawk head coach Dennis Taylor couldn’t have been more appreciative of the support his team received from the Union City natives.
“It was a close match and the fans made a big difference,” Taylor said. “We really enjoyed playing in front of the Union City fans. We may have to make it a tradition to come over here and play at least one match a year because we had a lot of support today. We scratched and clawed and that’s how we are going to have to win in the future.”
UT Martin started off the match by claiming the all-important doubles point. The No. 1 team of Ivon Simic and Anna Marie Herbold picked up an 8-4 win while Anna Winkelmann and Jessica Silva earned an 8-3 triumph at No. 3.
In singles, Herbold registered a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2, while Winkelmann earned a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 3. Van Zyl was responsible for a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 4, clinching the Skyhawk victory.
UT Martin hits the road for its next two outings, a nonconference matchup at Southern Illinois on March 21, followed by an OVC showdown at Southeast Missouri on March 22.