NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is the final weekend of indoor matches for the Lipscomb women’s tennis team, but the weekend is even more important for another reason.
The Lady Bisons, 5-2, head into the weekend with Belmont at 7 p.m. Friday and Southeast Missouri (SEMO) at 7 p.m. Saturday with a four-match winning streak. A win over Belmont would set a new record for the NCAA era for consecutive victories for the Lady Bisons.
Both matches will be held at the Whitworth Indoor Tennis Center.
Belmont is 2-3 and is coming off a loss at Alabama-Huntsville. SEMO is 1-3.
Lipscomb women’s coach Jamie Aid is looking forward to the tennis version of the “Battle of the Boulevard”.
“Belmont, until three years ago, had beaten us 13 years in a row,” Aid said. “Belmont is always a big deal for us.
“Belmont will always be our rival. They are coming here to try to beat us.”
The doubles point has been crucial for the Lady Bisons the past two seasons. Despite winning the point against Austin Peay in their last outing Aid wants to see improvements with her doubles teams.
“I was not impressed with our doubles play against Austin Peay at all,” Aid said. “It was not the level we needed.”
Depth has also been a key this season and Laura Kent at No. 3, Hanna Victorsson at No. 4 and Melissa Kromer at No. 5 have been consistent performers. The No. 6 spot is a battle between Danielle Kinnen, Lorena Djuknic, Thabile Tshatedi and Kathryn Evans.
“What a competitive spirit Laura Kent has,” Aid said. “Hanna has slid in at No. 4 and really controls that spot. Melissa is playing at No. 5 for the first time ever in her college career and has been doing really well.
“We have four players battling for the No. 6 spot. We have never really had competition like this in practice before. We all want each other to do well, but there is friendly competition in practice.”
Hannah Gamage is locked in at No. 1. Kate Kandyba is at No. 2.
“Hannah Gamage is playing the best tennis she has ever played,” Aid said. “She is smarter. She is more mature on the court.
“Kate is 17 years old and she is playing No.2. She reminds me a lot of the way Hannah played last year. There is a different layer at this level than just hitting the ball hard. Now you have to construct points and instead of lasting three or four balls now there are six or seven balls in a point. She is learning to make those adjustments.”