MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Lipscomb women’s tennis team hit the road Saturday afternoon for its season opener in Murfreesboro, but the Lady Bisons were unable to hold off Middle Tennessee in a 5-2 loss at the Adams Tennis Complex.
Lipscomb (0-1) opened the match in convincing fashion as Thabile Tshatedi and Maddox Bandy blanked Marta Peris Herrero and Lee Barnard, 6-0, at the No. 3 doubles pairing. The Blue Raiders would wind up earning the point with a pair of 6-3 victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.
Senior and two-time All-ASUN first teamer Vika Dzyuba picked up the first point of the afternoon for Lipscomb in the No. 2 singles with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Kim Kermet.
Junior Denise Buberl recorded the other point for Lipscomb in singles action as the defeated Zani Barnard 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the final pairing of the match.
Sophomore Kate Popova, the reigning ASUN Freshman of the Year, forced her match to three sets in the top pairing. After taking the first set 6-2, Popova dropped the next two 1-6, 5-7 against Costanza Magazzini.
"It didn’t go our way this afternoon," Lipscomb head coach Jamie Aid said. "Part of that was first match of the season nerves and being mentally prepared better.
"We had a lot of deuce points and close matches, we just need to do better in those pressure points. The good thing is that is is all things we can work on. Our girls are right there and we are looking forward to hosting UAB next weekend."
Lipscomb will host its first home match of the season when UAB pays a visit to the Whitworth Racquet Club on Saturday at 7 p.m., giving fans their first chance to see the Lady Bisons in 2019.
FULL RESULTS: Middle Tennessee 5, Lipscomb 2
1. Costanza Magazzini (MT) def. Kateryna Popova (LIP-W) 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
2. Luisa Zirilli/Kim Kermet (MT) def. Madeleine Brooks/Denise Buberl (LIP) 6-3
3. Maddox Bandy/Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) def. Marta Peris Herrero/Lee Barnard (MT) 6-0
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
1. Costanza Magazzini (MT) def. Kateryna Popova (LIP) 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
2. Viktoriya Dzyuba (LIP) def. Kim Kermet (MT) 6-3, 6-0
3. Lidia Burrows (MT) def. Madeleine Brooks (LIP) 7-5, 6-2
4. Denise Buberl (LIP) def. Zani Barnard (MT) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
5. Lee Barnard (MT) def. Liza Diachenko (LIP) 6-3, 6-3
6. Luisa Zirilli (MT) def. Maddox Bandy (LIP) 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 5, 6, 3, 1, 4