Murray State women’s tennis looks to continue winning against Western Kentucky University Saturday. The Racers are hit or miss this season with a 2-3 record.
They struggled earlier in their scheduled matches with doubles.
The team suffered a 1-4 loss to Central Arkansas University Feb. 9, 1-6 home loss Feb. 17 to Southern Illinois and a 2-5 loss against the University of Evansville on Feb. 20. The match against Arkansas State Feb. 10 was canceled, which created a lull in the team’s schedule. The team dropped three matches in a row against Central Arkansas, SIU and Evansville after its Feb. 3 victory in its season opener at home against Lindsey Wilson College.
Murray State’s last match Feb. 22 showed a positive change with a decisive 6-1 victory against the 2-5 Lipscomb Bisons. Ashley Canty, Carla Suga and Carolyn Huerth all won in singles, while Megan Blue and Erin Patton won their matches in doubles. As for doubles, the teamed-up players Canty and Huerth won. Suzaan Stoltz and Patton also defeated Lipscomb in their doubles match.
“Overall, every single girl played pretty much their best tennis of the fall and of the season,” Head Coach Olga Elkin said. “Everyone played in their courts.”
Elkin said she was pleased with what she saw from her players against Lipscomb at Kenlake State Park last week.
“All the girls ended up playing their best. As a whole they made more balls. They did well in their slots,” Elkin said. “They never gave their opponent even a chance to get in the match from the start.”
However, she does think the Racers have some room for improvement before the match against WKU on Saturday.
“They can always improve and make smarter decisions on the court,” Elkin said. “They need to make all their balls.”
WKU women’s tennis is a rival with a 3-1 record. The WKU Hilltoppers defeated Morehead State last week in a blowout 7-0 victory. Earlier, they split two matches against Northern Kentucky and OVC team Belmont University 6-1 and 7-0. The Hilltoppers also defeated Bellarmine University 7-0 to begin their tennis season. The Racers plan to build on their success from the match against Lipscomb and keep winning against WKU.
“All of us need to play well, stay focused and make more balls,” Elkin said. “We have got to get that doubles point.”
Murray State could use a win heading into the meatier middle portion of its schedule. Teams from bigger, nonconference schools like the Memphis Tigers and the Saint Louis Billikens are both on the docket for the next couple matches.
Murray State will play WKU Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Bennie Purcell Tennis Courts.
Story by Kelly Ferrall, Contributing writer.