Numbers game stalls women's tennis
Saturday, January 14, 2017
By Casey Kupper
Numbers game stalls women's tennis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb women’s tennis team kicked off their season at Whitworth Tennis Center on Friday evening facing the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

With only six girls playing for Lipscomb due to injuries the team showed no hesitance on the court. The doubles teams started the match of strong for the Bisons.

“We saw many positives Friday night from this group,” coach Jamie Aid said.

Despite the strong start the Lady Bisons lost 4-3. They are back on the court Sunday at 1 p.m. at Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro for the first road match of the season.

Vika Dzyuba and Denise Buberl edged out Pardis Kianoush and Marlene Herrmann with a 6-4 win for the Bisons. Maddie Brooks and Thabile Tshatedi had no trouble with Hana Sisirak and Reghan Lynch winning 6-3, and UAB’s Sophie Dodds and McKenna Root took the win, beating Hannah Gamage and Jaclyn Findlay 4-6.

Aid was pleased with the performance of Brooks and Tshatedi in singles. The girls handled their courts with relative ease. Brooks battled Herrmann for three sets winning 6-4,0-6,6-3. Tshatedi had no trouble defeating Factor 6-1, 6-3.

The rest of the Lady Bisons’ singles matches did not go as smoothly.

Gamage and Buberl struggled with their singles matches. Gamage fell to UAB’s Lynch 6-4, 6-1. Buberl was defeated by Sisirak 6-3, 6-2.

Findlay was put in a high pressure situation when the match fell on her shoulders. Findlay has not seen as many matches as some of the other players. Findlay fought hard against UAB’s Natalie Voss throughout three sets. Findlay was defeated by Voss with a final score of 1-6, 7-5, and 6-4.

“We have a hard schedule and our girls are aware of it,” Aid said. “It’s very challenging and this group embraces that.”

The team suffered a devastating blow when Dzyuba disqualified herself from her singles match against Kianoush due to injury. Dzyuba won the first set 7-6, and struggled in the second set 2-6. The third set was 3-4 before Dzyuba called the match

The team’s loss will be the least of Aid’s worries as they prepare for Sunday’s match against MTSU. Keeping her players healthy and able to compete will be her main focus.

Dzyuba’s injury will be a crucial factor for the rest of the spring season for the Lady Bisons. The team cannot afford more injuries.

“This is a talented group that has to buy into doing everything they can to be healthy,” Aid said. “We can’t afford to lose matches because we are unable to finish.

“Losing a match that we were winning is difficult. However I think our players took a lot from the match. We look will look forward to another tough match against MTSU on Sunday.”