RU Women’s Tennis splits weekend, now 14-6

Photo By: Jon Huff

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Matt Halberg

Radford University Women’s Tennis continued their best start in program history by defeating the Campbell University Fighting Camels on March 31 by a score of 4-3, but then dropped a league match to the Winthrop Eagles by a score of 1-6 on April 1. The match against Winthrop concluded a six-day stretch where the Highs played four matches. With the loss to Winthrop, the Highs fell to 14-6 on the season and 3-4 in the Big South Conference.

RU started their match against Campbell by taking the doubles point; senior Mia Drobnjak and freshman Taylor Newman surrendered the first doubles match to Campbell’s Karolina Chernaya and Borislava Nikolova. The Highs bounced back by winning the remaining two doubles matches as the teams of freshman Hannah Crawford and freshman Meg Napolitano, and freshman Gemma Valls and senior Petra Dajevic both scored victories over Campbell.

After the Highs took home the doubles portion, they ensured a quality win when they tied with Campbell in the singles competition, 3-3. Drobnjak, Newman and Napolitano scored the singles victories for Radford, while Dajevic, Crawford and Valls all dropped their singles matches. Regardless, the Highs escaped with a 4-3 win over the Fighting Camels. The Camels dropped to 1-5 in the conference, while the Highs improved to 3-3.

The Highlanders looked to extend their win streak to three straight matches when they faced the Winthrop Eagles on Sunday, April 1, but the Eagles proved to be more of a difficult opponent than the Fighting Camels. The Highs were swept in the doubles competition when the teams of Drobnjak and Newman, Crawford and Napolitano, and Dajevic and Vallis surrendered three straight matches to the Eagles. The Highs surrendered the doubles portion of the match by a combined 24-6.

With the Eagles leading 1-0 going into the singles competition, the Highs looked to rally. They needed to win four out of the six doubles points, but instead they fell to Winthrop in the singles competition, 5-1. Newman, one of the four freshmen on the squad, scored the only singles point for Radford. Newman holds a season record of 12-11, while Napolitano leads the team in victories with 17. As a whole, the Highs are a combined 77-60 in singles competition, and hold a doubles mark of 36-31.

With the split weekend, the Highs stand at sixth in the Big South Conference, right behind Liberty University. The Highlanders’ next match will take place on April 6 when they travel to Durham, N.C. for an away match against North Carolina Central University. The Highlanders will play their last regular Big South season match against the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at the RU Tennis Courts on April 2, in a contest scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.