North Little Rock, AR – Despite dropping both of its matches against Central Arkansas and Arkansas, Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s tennis team showed potential throughout its lineup over the weekend at the Burns Park Tennis Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Governors kicked off their 2022 campaign, Saturday, against a future ASUN Conference opponent in Central Arkansas.
Trailing 2-0, Cheng put the Govs on the board with the first singles victory of her career, but it would be the only point of the afternoon for APSU, as the Beats swept the remaining singles matches.
Austin Peay State University faced its first of two Southeastern Conference opponents this season in Arkansas, Sunday, to wrap up its season-opening road trip.
In doubles, Paladini-Jennings and Cheng picked up their first victory together on the No. 3 court, defeating Tatum Rice and Grace O’Donnell, 6-4. But the Razorbacks won each of the remaining doubles matches to claim the match’s inaugural point.
Torrealba highlighted APSU in singles play against the Razorbacks. The Neu-Isenburg, Germany native went toe-to-toe with Indianna Spink, the 2021 SEC Freshman of the Year and All-SEC selection from the spring, on the No. 2 singles court. After winning the first set 6-3, Torrealba lost a close second set before falling 10-7 in the tiebreaker.
Results vs. Central Arkansas
- Xin Chunxi / Fuka Nonoyama (UCA) def. Leder / Aleks Topalovic (APSU) 7-6 (6)
- Denise Torrealba / Honoka Nakanishi (APSU) def. Mei Ishimura / Yada Vasupongchai 6-4
- Jaeun Lee / Sumomo Hamanaga (UCA) def. Martina Paladini-Jennings / Yu-Hua Cheng (APSU) 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1*
- Chunxi (UCA) def. Jana Leder (APSU) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
- Fuka Nonoyama (UCA) def. Denise Torrealba (APSU) 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
- Jaeun Lee (UCA) def. Aleks Topalovic (APSU) 6-4, 6-1
- Yada Vasuponchai (UCA) def. Martina Paladini-Jennings 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
- Sumomo Hamanaga (UCA) def. Honoka Nakanishi (APSU) 6-0, 6-1
- Yu-Hua Cheng (APSU) def. Nicole Ross (UCA) 6-0, 6-4
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 3, 1*, 2, 4
Results vs. Arkansas
- Lenka Stara / Laura Rijkers (ARK) def. Jana Leder / Aleks Topalovic (APSU) 6-0
- Indianna Spink / Kelly Keller def. Denise Torrealba / Honoka Nakanishi 6-3
- Martina Paladini-Jennings / Yu-Hua Cheng (APSU) def. Tatum Rice / Grace O’Donnell 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 2*, 3
- Tatu, Rice (ARK) def. Jana Leder 6-0, 6-2
- Indianna Spink (ARK) def. Denise Torrealba (APSU) 3-6, 6-4, 10-7
- Kelly Keller (ARK) def. Aleks Topalovic (APSU) 6-2, 6-2
- Lenka Stara (ARK) def. Martina Paladini-Jennings (APSU) 6-3, 6-2
- Laura Rijkers (ARK) def. Honoka Nakanishi (APSU) 6-1, 6-1
- Preley Southerland (ARK) def. Yu-Hua Cheng 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 4*, 5, 6, 2,
Coach’s Corner: APSU head coach Ross Brown
On Central Arkansas… “Central Arkansas is a strong team. Saying that, they are in the middle of the pack in the ASUN Conference. We did not play poorly, but we had plenty of opportunities that we did not capitalize on. We had a number of match points to take the doubles point. We won three first sets in singles matches. It was disappointing to not follow through on that. There are things that we can work on and change in order to close out sets and matches better.”
On Arkansas… “Arkansas is a strong program, but there are still a lot of things we should have done better against them. We have to be more assertive in doubles as opposed to passive. We also have to be adaptable and keep inventory better. These last two matches ma have seemed like two bad losses, but I see a foundation out there. I believe if we continue to work and make improvements, that we will get better.”
On Yu-Hua Cheng… “I am really pleased with how [Yu-Hua Cheng] played. Her picking up a pair of wins will really help her confidence, which can be a challenge for her at times. She has a game that can really improve and be world-class. When the ball comes out of her right hand, it just fires out. She has a lot of potential. She has some basic things to correct, but if she does and continues to be coachable, she has endless potential.”
Next Up For APSU Women’s Tennis
The Austin Peay State University women’s tennis team hosts an in-state foe in Middle Tennessee at 2:45pm, January 30th, at the Evansville Tennis Center in Evansville, Indiana. Following their match with the Blue Raiders, Austin Peay State Universityhosts Cumberland at 11:30am, February 4th at the Evansville Tennis Center.