ASU Tennis defeats UT-Martin in spring opener

By Zach Lott
On January 30, 2012

The Arkansas State women's tennis team defeated Tennessee-Martin 6-1 in a strong start to their 2012 campaign Sunday afternoon.

ASU captured two of three doubles matches, with only Janie Nowland and Tamara Slijepcevic faltering as they lost to UTM's Jodie Tiley and Johanie Van Zyl 8-2.

Mahuiyang Rong and Ioana Teu combined to defeat Alice Laing and Anna Marie Herbold 9-7, while Ceara Howey and Biljana Miloshevska won 8-6 to edge out Ivon Simic and Katie McCall.

In singles play, the Red Wolves were victorious in all but one match, when Van Zyl dropped her first set to Miloshevska 4-6, before springing back with a 6-1 win during the subsequent set and a 10-7 victory in the tiebreaker.

Rong defeated Tiley 6-3, 6-1, while Slijepcevic dispatched Simic 6-1, 6-1, Nowland beat Herbold 6-1, 6-4, Howey subdued McCall 6-2, 6-1, and Teu bested Silva 7-6, 3-6, (10-7).

"We played great singles. I think that was really good," said ASU tennis coach Marina Engelbrecht.

"I mean, it's always kind of nerve-wracking when you play your first match, to get out there and put things that you've practiced in a match. So, it was good to see that working… it was good to get a win."

When asked about her expectations for this spring, Engelbrecht laid out specific objectives for the team.

"Our goal is that we'd like to be in the top four of the conference. We'd love to get in the top 75 in the country," she said.

With that in mind, the Red Wolves will head west this weekend for a Feb. 4 date with Colorado State followed by a match versus Denver the following day.

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