Women’s tennis beats Alabama State in preseason play

Mercer Athletics
Mercer Athletics

The Mercer women’s tennis season is finally underway. With three contests already complete, the Bears are 2-1 in their 2014 spring season.

Mercer dropped their sets to both UNC Wilmington and Georgia State, but were victorious at home against Alabama State, defeating them 7-0.

The Bears dominated Alabama State in both doubles and singles play, earning their big win. The doubles teams all went 6-2 in their three matches to defeat the Alabama State Hornets. In addition to winning all three doubles matches, the Bears were successful in each of the six singles matches.

The team was led by sophomore Danielle Jones who played in the number one spot and secured her win in two 6-0 efforts. Sophomore Liza Klyachkin in the six spot also won her match 6-0. Sophomore Natalie Franklin in the four spot and Senior Lucie Payrat in the two spot both won their matches in exciting tie breakers.

Sophomore Roxy Bartz clinched the three spot victory defeating her opponent in both games 6-3, and freshmen Hayley Powell won in the fifth spot 6-1 and 6-2.

Bartz noted, “I was a bit nervous in our first match but I think now that it was just all the nerves that come with it being the first match.” She continued, “I felt way better in the second match and was able to just play how I wanted to.”

Bartz commented on the team’s effort, “The team has been working hard and starting to come into their own. Our first match didn’t turn out too hot, but we turned it right around in our second match and showed them who is boss.”

After a long offseason of preparation in the fall with extensive conditioning and training, the team has hopes to continue to get better as the season progresses. Conference play for the Bears begins Mar. 14.

“We have a lot more work to do, but we haven’t slowed down at practice and by the time conference matches come in to play we should be ready and should do fairly well,” said Bartz.

The team is very excited for the rest of this season. Under new head coach Eric Hayes, the team seems to be headed for success. Hours of dedication have attributed to the season thus far, and the Bears show no signs of slowing down.

The team heads to South Alabama Friday, Feb. 7, in an aim to defeat the Jaguars. After a long stretch on the road the Bears will return home to The LeRoy Petty Tennis Center Feb. 28 as they take on Florida A&M.