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APSU Women’s Tennis travels to UT Martin, Southeast Missouri

APSU Women's TennisClarksville, TN – With a seven-match winning streak and Ohio Valley Conference Regular Season Championship aspirations on the line, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s tennis team hits the road for a pair of matches, Friday and Saturday. 

The Governors start the weekend with a Friday 2:00pm match against UT Martin at the Skyhawk Tennis Complex in Martin, Tennessee before facing Southeast Missouri in a Saturday 1:00pm at the Redhawks Tennis Complex in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Austin Peay (7-5, 3-0 OVC) enters the weekend as one of two unbeaten teams in OVC play, joined by Southeast Missouri (13-4, 5-0 OVC). With Saturday’s match being their season finale, the Redhawks could secure the regular season title for the second-straight season if they defeat Murray State, Friday, and win Saturday’s match against the Govs. 
2021-22 APSU Women's Tennis - Denise Torrealba. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)The Governors, however, keep the regular-season title within their grasp if they win both of their weekend matches. 
From its quartet of seniors to its to pair freshman duo; singles to doubles play; and wire-to-wire wins to comeback victories, Austin Peay State University has been the hottest team in the conference in the last six weeks.

Senior Martina Paladini-Jennings and freshman Denise Torrealba have earned a team-best eight wins this season in singles play; however, a trio of Govs have also played exceptionally well in recent matches.

2021-22 APSU Women's Tennis - Jana Leder. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Redshirt sophomore Jana Leder – the reigning a 2021 First Team All-OVC recipient and reigning OVC Freshman of the Year – boasts a team-best six-straight singles wins from the No. 2 position, while senior Danielle Morris is 5-0 in singles since returning to the lineup, March 15. Lastly, freshman Yu-Hua Cheng has won six matches, including five straight, anchoring the APSU Govs lineup at the No. 6 position.

The reigning OVC Women’s Tennis Doubles Team of the Week, Torrealba and Honoka Nakanishi lead the APSU Govs with an 8-3 doubles mark. The pairing has won seven-straight matches, including six-straight from the No. 1 position this season. 

2021-22 APSU Women's Tennis - Honoka Nakanishi. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Paladini-Jennings and Cheng are second among Govs’ pairings with six wins, exclusively playing the No. 3 position, while Morris and Leder have not lost in their four matches together this season. 

The Govs open their weekend against UT Martin (2-14, 1-3 OVC). The Skyhawks return seven players from its 2021 team that finished seventh in the conference last season, including Aziza Aubin, who leads UTM with eight wins from the No. 4 and No. 5 positions this season. 

The Skyhawks are currently sixth in the OVC standings and coming off losses against Southeast Missouri and Belmont last weekend.

Saturday’s match against the Redhawks is a rematch of the 2021 OVC Championship match in which the Governors defended their 2019 title, erased a 3-1 deficit and defeated SEMO, 4-3, 2021 to claim their eighth OVC title. 

The Redhawks currently sit atop the OVC standings at 5-0 in league play and return eight of nine players from last year’s team, including Romana Tarajova, the reigning OVC Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-OVC selection. 

About the UT Martin Skyhawks

2022 Record: 2-14, 1-3 OVC
2021 Record: 2-15, 2-5 OVC

2021 Season Result: After finishing seventh in the conference last season, UT Martin missed the OVC Championship. The Skyhawks had their season come to a close after suffering a 5-2 loss at Saint Louis, on April 18th. 

Returners/Newcomers: 7/1
All-Time Series (Since 1989): 28-10 UTM

Last Meeting: The Governors earned their first OVC win of the 2021 season in a 4-3 victory against UT Martin, on April 3rd. The Govs claimed the doubles point and fended off a late UT Martin run. Nakanishi secured the win for the Governors with a straight-set victory on the No. 6 singles court. 

About the Southeast Missouri Redhawks

2022 Record: 13-4 (5-0 OVC)
2021 Record: 15-5 (8-1 OVC)

2021 Season Result: After winning the OVC regular-season title in 2021, Southeast Missouri defeated No. 4 Jacksonville State, 4-1, and entered the OVC Championship match against Austin Peay on an eight-match conference winning streak. 

The Redhawks led 3-1 in the contest after claiming the doubles and two of the first three singles points. The Govs, however, came back to claim their second-straight championship and end SEMO’s season and title sweep hopes.

Returners/Newcomers: 8/1
All-Time Series (Since 1992): 17-13 APSU

Last Meeting: Austin Peay State Universityclaimed its eighth Ohio Valley Conference Championship after coming back to defeat Southeast Missouri, 4-3, April 25th, 2021.

After dropping the doubles point, the Govs found themselves trailing 3-1 midway through singles play. APSU alumna Fabienne Schmidt sparked the Govs late rally, defeating 2021 OVC Player of the Year, Romana Tarajova, 6-4, in the third set.

Then, Aleks Topalovic came back after dropping her first set, 6-4, on the No. 4 singles court to win 7-5 and 6-4 in her proceeding sets. 

Lastly, junior Danielle Morris came back after dropping a marathon first set to Hlacikova, 11-9 in the third, to win 6-1 before clinching the championship with a 7-5 third-set victory.

Follow the APSU Govs

For news and updates ahead of the Governors’ matches against UT Martin and Southeast Missouri, follow the women’s tennis team on Twitter (@GovsWTN), Instagram (@GovsTennis), and Facebook (Austin Peay Tennis).

Next Up For APSU Women’s Tennis

The Governors begin their final week of the regular season with Senior Day, April 22 against Tennessee State. Following their 10 a.m. match against the Tigers, the Govs travel to Calloway County, Kentucky for a 1 p.m. match against Murray State in their regular-season finale. 


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