KNOXVILLE, Tn- The Royals Women's tennis team finished up their fall matches this past Friday with a 5-1 win against the Owls of Mississippi University for Women. The win capped off the most successful fall season in the Royals young history as the team wrapped up with a 6-1 record and a five-match winning streak.
The Royals' record seemed to encompass everything from a 9-0 sweep to a pair of 4-3 wins to their first ever victory over Maryville College. The Royals success was largely attributed to the strong play of their incoming freshmen. In singles, freshmen Paola Testa concluded the fall with an unblemished 7-0 record, largely at the top position, while freshmen Cait Bowling finished with a 7-1 record playing anywhere from the 3 to 5 positions. In doubles, it was Testa pairing with Sophomore Lauren Murray who finished with a 6-1 record as a pair.
Coach Hale emphasized the importance of the entire team as he looked back at the fall campaign. "I'm very impressed with the growth of this team and the individual efforts that we had throughout the whole season. While our record was 6-1, it wasn't without some drama, we didn't have a match where all our players were healthy. Iris, Brooke, and Katelyn all dealt with some injuries and had to time this fall. It is a tremendous credit to them that they were often able to step into positions or doubles teams without much practice or notice from match to match due to injuries. While injuries are never good, it also really forced our freshmen to step up...and they definitely did. Paola was unstoppable most matches, Cait was the definition of clutch, and Halle stepped in and acted like she grew up on a tennis court. Finally, Lauren really played a key role for us all fall. She started off getting a breakthrough clinching win in singles and then teamed up with Paola to dominate the 1 doubles spot. When you have that kind of reliability up top match in and match out, it really allows for everyone else to play loose and different players to step up in different matches. All in all, I can't wait to see what they can do when they are pushed with an AAC schedule."
The Royals will now enter their offseason until they pick back up in the spring. Their next match will be at home against Tennessee Wesleyan University.