Women’s tennis falls twice to Tennessee

Sports Editor Chase Glover

The Lions dropped both games 7-0 against the University of Tennessee Knoxville Jan. 14. They fall to 0-2 on the year and will face Alabama A&M Feb. 3.

The UNA team dropped both ends of a doubleheader by identical 7-0 scores to the Volunteers.

Although the scores were the same for both matches, head coach Brice Bishop said his team showed improvement throughout both contests.

“We did play a little nervous and tight in the first match, but it was still an incredible effort,” Bishop said. “Our freshmen played extremely well. Sydney Flesch had chances to win every match she played today and Elise Sickle also had a strong showing in the second match at No. 6 singles. We played a really good opponent and we got what we needed to get out of our first ever Division I match.”

Tennessee (2-0) entered the season with five returning lettermen from its 2018 NCAA Tournament team. The Volunteers were able to grab early leads by sweeping doubles play in both matches.

UNA had its best chance at No. 1 doubles in the second match when Flesch and senior Claudia Arroyo dropped a 6-4 decision to the UTK’s No. 33 team Sadie Hammond and Kaitlin Staines.

After the Lions (0-2) lost in straight sets in all six singles matches in the opener, Sickle gave UNA its best showing of the day in singles play in the second match, she posted a 6-2 win in the opening set before falling 7-5 to even the match. UTK’s Kylie Duckworth then secured the win with a 10-7 victory in the tiebreaker.

The Lions have 20 games on their schedule and seven of them are conference games against teams such as Lipscomb, Liberty, Kennesaw State, Florida Gulf Coast, NJIT, Stetson and North Florida.