Women’s Tennis soars over Roanoke College, falls to Liberty

The Highlanders stand at 12-5 on the 2012 season after their loss to Liberty.

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AJ Neuharth-Keusch
aneuharthkeus@radford.edu

The Highlanders stand at 12-5 on the 2012 season after their loss to Liberty.

Radford University Women’s Tennis started off their home court stretch with a bang as they shutout Roanoke College 7-0 on March 22 in a match that lasted a little over an hour.
The bottom three singles players, freshmen Taylor Newman and Meg Napolitano and senior Sara Tegner all swept their opponents with scores of 6-0, 6-0. Freshmen one and two singles players Hannah Crawford and Gemma Valls didn’t fail to demolish their opponents either, as Crawford won 6-1,6-1 and Valls 6-0, 6-1.
Doubles play looked equally as impressive. The duo of Crawford and Napolitano won 8-1 at the number one doubles position and Newman and Valls won 8-0 at the two.
The win gave RU their sixth straight and improved their record to 12-4.
“It felt great. I was very proud of how great the freshmen handled their first home match,” said senior captain and number one position holder Petra Dajevic, who did not play in the match.
RU sits at fourth in the Big South with a 2-3 conference record. However, with the current streak of success the team is experiencing, they’re posing as a threat to the leaders of the conference.
“We’ve started off the season well, so we are going into our remaining matches feeling good about how we are playing. We are looking to get some good conference wins over the next couple of weeks and carry that on into the big south tournament in April,” said Crawford.
Three of their final four matches are against conference opponents Campbell University (9-3 overall record), Winthrop University (7-11), and UNC Asheville (5-9), so finishing the season higher in the standings is a realistic target for the Highs.
“We have a lot of momentum going into these matches,” Crawford said. “We are all looking forward to playing at home and hopefully the home advantage and support will make sure we can record some good wins.”
The Highs have been playing well in both singles and doubles this season, but doubles is where their achievements really stand out. They have won the doubles portion of their match 12 out of a possible 16 times so far. However, despite their incredible doubles record, Crawford still feels as though they still need improvement.
“We are practicing a lot of doubles to try and make sure we get the important doubles point in our matches,” Crawford said.
Even though the team has been dealing with a lot of success recently, they’re not the only tennis squad at RU with surrounding hype. The men’s team has been phenomenal over the past few years and has a 10-3 record (3-0 in the Big South) so far this season.
“The Men’s team deserves their hype, but we are doing great this season so we are expecting a hype about tennis on campus in general,” said Dajevic. “I feel very achieved seeing that our hard work is showing in conference. Our relationship is just fine, we’re colleagues connected with tennis.”
Women’s Tennis followed up their 7-0 victory against Liberty at home on March 27, but lost by a score of 3-4. They fell to 12-5 after the loss, with a 2-3 mark in the conference.
RU will play their next match at Longwood University on March 29, at 2:30 p.m.