With the tennis team’s recent success in all-conference play, the Racers owe much to senior singles and doubles player Ashley Canty.
In Murray State’s last meet against Tennessee State, Canty went on to win her first-round doubles match, contributing to a six-match streak against the Tigers. In doubles, she paired with sophomore Carolyn Huerth to contribute to a final 2-3 doubles record for the Racers.
The two landslide wins helped construct a 6-0 victory to add to the Racers’ 5-1 conference record.
Canty said she tries to play her hardest, knowing she doesn’t have much time left.
“It does feel like there’s a sense of urgency,” she said. “But I really just want to go out there and do my best and try and take it all the way. I want to play hard, but I have to also remember to have fun doing it.”
Aside from competing, Canty said her favorite thing about Murray State tennis is getting to know and play with each of her teammates.
“I love being with them,” she said. “There’s always a lot of energy, and it turns out to be a fun atmosphere to practice and play in. I get along with all the girls well, and I’m going to miss them when I graduate.”
Canty is currently the only senior on the roster of seven, playing alongside four freshmen. With the most experience in OVC competition, she said she serves as a mentor for the rest of the players.
Tennis runs deep in Canty’s family. She started playing at a young age, with her father coaching her until she entered competitions at six years old. It was the only sport she played throughout school.
“I’ve been playing since I was two years old,” she said. “It always kind of ran in my family. My dad was a football player, and he got his teaching degree. That’s when he began coaching me.”
Canty has plans to continue playing tennis after
she graduates from Murray State. She plans to try to either play professionally or become a player for the Atlanta Tennis Lawn Association in Atlanta, Ga.
“I want to see how the whole pro thing goes first,” she said. “And then I was going to go for ALTA if that doesn’t happen. I do want to keep tennis with me. It’s fun.”
ALTA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of tennis as a recreational sport and a way to promote physical fitness.
Since 1934, the club has scheduled league play for both adult and junior teams in the Atlanta area. Today, ALTA has more than 80,000 members enrolled in its league.
Besides tennis, Canty said her one other hobby is listening to music. Her favorite genres are R&B and hip-hop. She also has a new-found preference for Taylor Swift.
“I really have to blame my team for getting me into Taylor Swift,” she said. “They all really like her, and I’ve been listening to a few of her songs.”
Despite her aspirations to take tennis beyond college, Canty said she will not forget the years she has played as a Racer.
“Tradition has always been big here,” she said. “I can say that I’m very proud to be a Racer. It was a big part of my career to play at Murray State.”
Story by Carly Besser, Assistant Sports Editor.