KNOXVILLE, Tn- The Royals Women's tennis team defeated cross-town rival Maryville College by a final score of 6-3. Propelled by a strong showing in doubles and capped off with a singles win from sophomore Paola Testa.
The Royals started off with an early advantage due to a shortage of players, making both of the remaining doubles matches critical. On court 1, the tandem of Paola Testa and Lauren Murray battled against Maryville's top duo. Tied 2-2, Murray would serve her way out of a 0-40 deficit to take the lead 3-2 into the changeover. Using this momentum, the pair would break the following game and use a strong service game from Testa to go up 5-2, eventually winning by a score of 8-5. On court 2, Johnson's Halle Leslie and Caroline Rhoton found themselves in a back and forth battle throughout the entire set with no team taking larger than a 2 game lead. Knotted at 7-7, Leslie and Rhoton would jump to an early lead in the deciding tie-break and put the match away with a score of 7-5.
Now with a solid lead, the Royals would compete hard on every singles court. At the top spot, sophomore Paola Testa would roll to a 6-2, 6-1 victory. With this victory, Testa stays undefeated in singles for the fall having won 10 of her last 11 singles matches. Royals players Lauren Murray, Caroline Rhoton, and Cait Bowling would all compete at the 2, 3, and 4 spots though they would come up just short.
Coach Hale was very pleased with all of the performances today and is excited to see his team grow. "We really came out and set the tone with strong doubles play. We were aggressive at the right moments and made sure our risks were really calculated. In singles we battled tough and had chances on every single court and made everything a battle which is what you need for matchups like this. I was particularly impressed with our body language, attitude, and overall resilience to get the win over a tough Maryville team!"
The Royals will compete in their final home match on Saturday October 15 against Brescia University.