Tennis set for OVCs


A Murray State women's player reaches back before returning a serve. Taylor McStoots || The News

A Murray State women’s player reaches back before returning a serve. Taylor McStoots || The News

Women’s tennis finished off its last regular season with a record of 11-8 and will start play in the OVC tournament today.

The Racers split their last two home matches April 12 and 13 against UT Martin and Jacksonville State. Murray State continued its success with a decisive 7-0 victory against UT Martin.

The Racers followed their win with a loss as they dropped the regular season finale on senior day, opposing another OVC team, Jacksonville State.

Head Coach Olga Elkin said her players performed well and showed great effort against UT Martin at home April 12.

Murray State won every single when they faced UT Martin. Senior Ashley Canty led the Racers with a victory in the number one slot.

Carla Suga and Megan Blue followed Canty’s victory with wins of their own in the second and third slots.

Erin Patton, Carolyn Huerth and Suzaan Stoltz finished off the Racers’ dominant sweep with solid wins in the remaining three slots.

The Racers also performed well in doubles with Blue and Suga teaming up to win at number two. Patton and Stoltz won the other doubles victory at number three by a close margin of 9-8.

The next day, Murray State dropped the match against Jacksonville State 3-4. The team’s close loss snapped a winning streak that spanned seven matches, which started March 23 at Eastern Illinois.

“It was a very close match,” Elkin said. “We fought and competed so I was very proud of them.”

The Racers experienced mixed results in both singles and doubles play against Jacksonville State. Suga won at number two with scores of 7-5 and 6-3.

Blue and Huerth won their singles matches as well in the number three and five slots. Blue scored 6-3 and 6-2, while Huerth scored the same results to pick up her singles victory.

Canty, Patton and Stoltz all lost their matches at numbers one, four and six. Canty finished with a 6-3 and 6-2 loss.

Patton scored a 7-5 and 6-2 victory, and Stoltz wrapped up singles play for the Racers winning 6-3 and 7-5.

The Racers needed four singles victories to defeat Jacksonville State, and they fell just short with three.

Murray State’s doubles matches left them with less room for error in singles, as they did not win the point.

Jacksonville State won two of three in doubles play. Blue and Suga won the number two slot to prevent a sweep by 8-5.

The OVC tournament is next on the schedule for the Racers as they attempt to further their successful season past the first round.

Murray State earned the number-three seed for the tournament, which falls short of Elkin’s goal of a number-two seed.

Murray State will play Belmont, an OVC opponent and number six seed, in round one.

“Again, I just want them to play hard,” Elkin said. “Just give 110 percent out there.”

Murray State plays Belmont to begin the first round of OVC tournament at the Larry J. Heflin Tennis Center in Paducah, Ky., today at 10 a.m.

 Story by Kelly Farrell, Contributing writer.