Women’s tennis prepares for OVC action

The women’s tennis team competes in their first OVC match of the season this Saturday at home.

Coming fresh off a loss against the 25th-ranked University of Memphis on Sunday at the Kenlake Tennis Center, the Racers are hoping to clinch a win in their upcoming tournaments.

After dropping the doubles match point, the Racers were unable to regain their footing and lost the singles match point. The Tigers won with a clean sweep 7-0.

The Racers’ No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams senior Ashley Canty and sophomore Carolyn Huerth, and freshman Megan Blue and Junior Carla Suga lost 8-4 in their respective matches. The No. 3 doubles team of freshmen Erin Patton and Suzaan Stoltz lost 8-0.

In the singles portion of the match, Canty fell at number one 6-0 and 6-1. Suga lost in straight sets 6-2 and 6-2 at the number two spot. Patton, Huerth, Stoltz and Huerth all lost their respective matches.

One of the team’s biggest challenges this season has been focusing and finding the right combination of doubles said Head Coach Olga Elkin.

The 2013 season has been a year of transition, as the women’s tennis team welcomed a new coaching staff. The Racers are currently 3-5 in nonconference play tournaments.

“My job is to keep them focused and calm throughout the match,” Elkin said. “Carla (Suga) is our No. 2 singles, and she’s always been really steady for us, she works really hard, does her own thing and is very steady.”

The Saturday and Sunday matches mark the opening of the OVC play. With three non-conference wins under their belt, the Racers are training harder than ever. So far this season’s wins include a 5-2 over Lindsey Wilson College, 6-1 win over Lipscomb University, and a 6-2 win against Western Kentucky.

The Racers will take on the Morehead State Eagles at the Kenlake Tennis Center on Saturday. Looking to improve their 3-5 record, the Racers have been training hard on and off the court. With a 9-1 record the Eagles are looking for a win to end their losing streak.

During the 2012 season, Murray State defeated Morehead State 7-0 at Morehead. The Racers also defeated the Eagles in the first round of the 2012 OVC Championship 4-3.

The team plays in back-to-back tournaments. They face the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Sunday at home. During the 2012 season, the Colonels defeated the Racers 5-2 at Richmond, Ky.

Elkin said that the team has been working hard and diligently on coming out and winning the doubles points early in the tournament.

“We’ve been working hard in both singles and doubles play,” Elkin said. “We working to play smarter tennis, whether that be hitting shots we shouldn’t be or playing to our players strengths.”

The beginning of the Racers’ conference play is another step on the road towards OCV Championships April 19-21 in Paducah, Ky.

 Story by Laura Kovarik, Staff writer.