Tennis streaking in opposite directions

Photo Courtesy of Murray State Athletics/The News Head Coach Jorge Caetano coaching at the match against Lipscomb University.

The women’s tennis team has won four straight matches, and the men’s has lost five straight.  Over this past weekend the women’s team won against Alabama A&M, Lindsey Wilson College and Lipscomb University.

  During the weekend, every member of the team won a singles match except for sophomore Virginie Tchakarova. She missed the games due to an illness.

“The trainer and I discussed the possibility of her playing in the match on Sunday but we decided that the best thing for her was rest,” said women’s Head Coach Jorge Caetano. “Luckily we have eight good girls so other girls can step in.”

In the match against Lipscomb on Sunday the women lost their first point of the weekend when they lost the opening doubles point.  Later that day freshman Nancy Karaky lost her singles match. Those were the only points the women lost since losing 5-2 to Tennessee on the 24th.

This was Karaky’s first loss at the collegiate level.

“She got tight after a few calls but she will get better with experience,” Caetano said. “She had never lost a set before this.”

On Friday the women will travel to Memphis to play a night match against the Tigers.

As the women roll, the men are looking for the positive through this tough stretch of their schedule. The men dropped all of their matches this weekend but they managed to stay healthy and compete with three good schools.

“I know it’s tough on my guys, but I hope that by playing this tough schedule it will make us better for when we open OVC play,” said men’s Head Coach Mel Purcell. “We have two more tough matches this Friday and after that they get a break until the 28th.”

Freshman Will True and sophomore David Hess won their singles matches against Abilene Christian, scoring the only two points for Murray State on the weekend. For the men the question going into the weekend was whether they could hold up for three matches with just six players.

“These guys work out with the basketball team twice a week to work on their endurance and conditioning,” Purcell said. “We will be doing a lot of running and just trying to get into better shape during our three week break.”

The men are getting ready to play a doubleheader Friday in Indiana as they will take on Indiana University Bloomington and Citadel Military College. Purcell is hoping his players can improve their doubles play, specifically their play at the net.

“The doubles point is huge because it’s the first point you can win,” Purcell said. “So winning that puts us up 1-0 right out of the gate.”

Over the weekend the women will look to continue their streak, and the men will look to end theirs.

Story by Blake Bernier, Contributing writer