Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Women’s Tennis: Blue Raiders climb out of 3-0 hole, defeat Western Kentucky

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Photo by Darius Horton / MTSU Sidelines

Story by Nathan Vaughan / Sports Reporter

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders returned to the Adams Tennis Complex after a month-long away stretch to take on the rival Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Trying to avoid losing three matches in a row for the first time all season, the Blue Raiders overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat WKU by a final tally of 4-3.

The opening doubles matches foreshadowed how the rest of the day would be, as it came down to a tiebreaker in the No.2 doubles match. Lee and Zani Barnard were unable to win the point for MTSU, as Western won the tiebreak and the doubles point by a count of 7-6 (7).

The Hilltoppers followed that up with wins at the No.1 and No.2 matches, causing Middle Tennessee to fall into a 3-0 hole. Kim Kermet began the comeback by rebounding from a loss in her second set to win 7-5, 0-6, 6-3. This got the Blue Raiders on the board, as they trailed 3-1 after that match.

Zani Barnard was next at the No.4 match, and she won in three sets as well by a count of 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Her sister Lee knotted the match at 3-3 with a third set win of her own by a score of 6-2. It all fell upon the racquet of Lidia Burrows, who had to fight in a second-set tiebreak to stay alive for MTSU.

The sophomore from England delivered for the home squad, as she won her match by a score of 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3 to complete the comeback for Middle Tennessee.

The win moves MTSU to 13-6 on the season, and a solid 9-2 at home. This was also only the second time all season that the Blue Raiders have won the match after losing the doubles point.

The Blue Raiders will be back on the courts next Saturday as they host the Alabama A&M Bulldogs at 2 p.m. Middle Tennessee will finish out the remainder of their regular season at the Adams Tennis Complex.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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