By Dalton Ray–
Hosting UT Martin and Murray State, the women’s tennis team walked away with a pair of victories in their opening day. Louisville first defeated UT Martin 5-2 then finished the night with a 7-0 win over Murray.
Coach Mark Beckham said he liked how his team played in the opener against Martin despite letting up two singles points.
“There’s always nerves and that affected how clean we played. We just didn’t play quite as good as we did in practice but it’s to be expected. UT Martin is very good in a few spots and they pushed us,” Beckham said. “I would have liked to see cleaner results throughout, but as far as getting the win, I’m happy.”
Getting things started, Louisville swept the doubles point by winning on all three courts. Ariana Rodriguez and Jessie Paul won on court three 6-2, giving the early edge to U of L. The Cards won on courts one and two 6-3.
Olivia Boesing and Tiffany Huber won on courts five and six by scores of 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-2. Mariana Humberg delivered the match-clinching point with a 6-3, 6-1 victory, her first as a Cardinal. Aleksandra Mally recorded her first win of the year with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Burcu Tari.
The Cardinals dropped two points on courts one and two. UTM’s Sarah Candeloro defeated Sena Suswan 6-2, 7-5 and Hitomi Naito defeated Pahz 7-5, 4-6, 10-4.
Beckham wasn’t overly worried about dropping the top courts because of the spread of his talent.
“It’s a blessing and a curse, but there’s not a huge difference between our No. 1 and No. 9 right now. I have the luxury of putting people wherever I want and they’re going to be in a good spot,” Beckham said. “What I’d like to have is someone own a spot, but it’s very early in the year so I’m not sure how that’s going to shake out yet.”
Like the men the day before, the women knocked off the cobwebs with their first match and swept the second.
“We accomplished what we wanted to as a whole and although we had a little lapse in doubles against this good Murray State team. I told them to show me a different team in singles and they accomplished that. This team is old enough and mature enough to control their level,” Beckham said.
Rodriguez and Paul moved to 2-0 in doubles today, along with Pahz and Humberg. Louisville won every singles match, making Boesing, Huber, Humberg and Mally all undefeated. Beckham said he is happy to see Mally on the court after dealing with injuries.
“(Mally) had a stress fracture in her arm her freshman year, then she tore a ligament her sophomore year. So she’s never been able to play tennis here pain-free and finally, she can play again. I’m happy for her,” Beckham said.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal