Women’s tennis starts conference play with 1-1 record after home weekend

The women’s tennis team started the conference season with two matches at home. In the first match Friday, Mar. 18, the Cougars faced the University of Tennessee at Martin and finished with a 4-3 loss. 

According to Heach Coach Nick Mueller, home matches are great regardless of whether they match is conference or non-conference. 

“Last weekend was our first home conference matches, which is always exciting. It is basically like you are starting a new season when you start your conference season. We happen to be starting our conference season at home, which is nice,” Mueller said.

Mueller said UT Martin was a tough opponent to start conference with, but will help the team to be ready for future conference matches. 

 “We have been doing well overall; we had an eight and three record going into last Friday against UTM, and UTM is a solid opponent, so it forces us to be ready right out of the gates,” Mueller said.

Freshman Madeline Hill and junior Mia Frogner won No. 1 doubles with a final score of 6-2. 

According to Frogner,  her backhand helped with her performance.

“I felt ready to play because we have been basically practicing all year to start conference, so it was fun to finally start. I felt that the team did well in both matches, and we got one win, which was great,” Frogner said.

Along with winning doubles with her partner, Hill swept No. 3 singles by defeating her opponent, UT Martin’s Burcu Tari, in the first two matches. 

Hill said, although the team did not capitalize in certain areas, she felt as if her single matches went very well.

“I felt good [going into this weekend’s matches]; you just have to go in with the most positive attitude and just give your best effort, and the cards fall where they will,” Hill said.

Other highlights of the day included junior Lexi Aranda’s win against UT Martin’s Sarah Candeloro at No. 1 singles. Also, senior Monique Krutak won both her matches for No. 4 singles.

Although the Cougars took a one point loss on Friday, they proved their capabilities Saturday Mar. 19 with a 6-0 win of Southeast Missouri State University. 

Frogner and Hill once again won No. 1 doubles by winning both of their matches. Along with their win, both Frogner and Hill won their single matches as well. Frogner won two out of three of her matches at No. 2 singles against SEMO’s Isabella Krupa. 

Frogner said despite some early nerves, she was pleased with her performance from the weekend.

“I felt like I played well. I was a bit nervous in both of my matches, but in both of them I played better and better, so that was good,” Frogner said.

Hill also won both of her matches at No. 3 singles against SEMO’s Mila Maitan.

According to Hill, she is working on better backhand volley, but regardless, she was still pleased with her performance this weekend.

“This weekend the best [thing] I did was controlling things that I could control. Whether things were going on around the court that were distracting or tough things in my match, I just did my best to stay positive and control my attitude and effort,” Hill said.

Aranda and freshman Morgan Steffes won two out of three of their matches at No. 3 doubles. Aranda also won both of her matches at No. 1 singles.

Krutak won both of her matches at No. 4 singles and freshman Ann-Christine Link won two out of three of her matches at No. 5 singles.

Mueller said there were a few things that could have been changed about the weekend matches that might have altered the Cougars’ results.

“We would have liked to be 2-0, but we were 1-1 this past weekend. We lost a tough one to UT Martin 4-3. I think the girls understand if we are not playing our best, then we can easily lose to a conference opponent,” Mueller said.

The Cougars will travel this weekend to face Austin Peay on Friday, March 25 and Murray State University on Saturday, March 26.

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