CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The opening weekend for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons tennis team continues Sunday when they take on the University of Tennessee.
The Volunteers are 2-1 on the season after beating UT-Martin and Western Michigan by 7-0 scores Saturday in Knoxville. The match will be played at the McCallie School at 1 p.m. The Lady Bisons opened the season Friday night at home with a 7-0 sweep of Harding University, an NCAA Division II school.
“I am proud of our girls tonight picking up their first win of the season,” Lady Bisons coach Jamie Aid said. “I am thankful for the support our fans showed by packing the viewing section. I don't think I've ever seen such a crowd.
“There are so many people who are cheering these girls on that believe this is a special group. Our message to our team is believe in yourself, your teammates and our program. If we can continue to gain confidence match-by-match we are going to be in a great position every weekend."
Aid has stressed the importance of her three seniors and she was pleased with the way Melissa Kromer, Lorena Djuknic and Danielle Kinnen helped set the tone.
"I can't say enough about our three seniors this semester,” Aid said. “Dani Kinnen, who was out of the Harding match due to injury, still did a great job firing the girls up. I think that is a testament to our seniors. It doesn't matter if they are hitting a tennis ball or supporting a teammate they are motivating!
"I have always been process minded when it has come to building our program. It was a great win against Harding. Now the only thing we are thinking about it UT. We have a great opportunity Sunday"
On the double: Doubles play was a key for the Lady Bisons last season and Aid is expecting more of the same in 2016.
There were two new doubles combinations with transfer Hanna Victorsson and sophomore Hannah Gamage and freshmen Thabile Tshatedi and Kate Kandyba teamed together.
“As always every season you have some first match nerves but all in all I thought it was a great start,” Aid said. “Doubles started a little flat however the girls picked up steam fast and did well working together.
“It's great to see some new combinations. I think doubles will continue to be a strength of ours this season as it proved to be last season.”
Gamage is back: Gamage played her first match since her wrist surgery during the offseason.
“I am happy to Hannah playing at the level she played,” Aid said.
Winning firsts: Kandyba and Victorsson won their first singles match for Lipscomb.
“Once Kate feels comfortable in a match she is a really tough competitor because of how she moves forward,” Aid said. “Victorsson brings a whole lot of energy to our team.”
Returners shine: Aid is counting on the balance and depth of the team this season. Several returning players made an impression on her in the Harding match.
“Melissa Kromer played such a clean match,” Aid said. “She was playing very smart and was intentional about executing her game plan.
“Lorena Djuknic attacked the ball well and took care of her court in under an hour. Kathryn Evans took the court and put together a terrific game plan for the second set that led her to win in a 10-point breaker.”