Photo by Darius Horton / MTSU Sidelines
Story by Nathan Vaughan / Sports Reporter
Returning home after last week’s trip to Florida, the Middle Tennessee women’s tennis team hosted two tough opponents this weekend in the Louisville Cardinals and Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The Cardinals came into their match with a 5-0 record, while Tulsa sat at 5-2. Though they fought hard in both matches, MTSU simply wasn’t able to pull out a win in either match.
On Friday, Louisville opened their match by taking the doubles point. Kim Kermet and Luisa Zirilli lost their match by a count of 6-2, while Josefina Zehnder and Marta Peris Herrero lost in the deciding match in 7-5 fashion to give the Cardinals the opening point.
That point turned out to be the deciding factor, as Louisville handed MTSU its first loss at Adams Tennis Complex this season by a final score of 4-3. In singles action, Zehnder and Kermet each won in three sets while Costanza Magazzini won in three sets due to retirement after Louisville secured the match victory.
The schedule didn’t let up, however, as Middle Tennessee had to regroup for a date with Tulsa on Sunday. The two teams met last season in a match that the Golden Hurricane won 6-1. Tulsa also made the NCAA Tournament last season and returned most of the same talent to this year’s squad.
The doubles point went in favor of the road team once again, as Tulsa’s duos prevailed over Kermet and Zirilli and Magazzini and Lidia Burrows, respectively. With the doubles point gone, MTSU was forced to play from behind once again.
Newcomer Zani Barnard was the only singles competitor to earn a victory, as Tulsa dominated their way to a 4-1 victory. This is the first time this season that the women’s team has lost back-to-back matches, and their record now sits at 5-3 on the young season.
The team will be back in action on Feb. 9 in a doubleheader against the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks and the Samford Bulldogs. The first match against UT-Martin will start at 10 a.m., followed by the match against Samford at 2 p.m.
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