Clarksville, TN – For the second-straight year, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s tennis team faces Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Tennis Championship semifinals. The Governors take on the Racers on Saturday in a 10:00am match at the Wesselman Tennis Center in Evansville, Indiana.
The OVC Regular Season Champions, Austin Peay (10-6, 6-1 OVC), looks to punch its fourth-straight trip to the OVC Championship match with a win in its final meeting against the No. 5-seeded Racers (12-9, 4-3 OVC) as a member of the OVC.
Austin Peay State University is one of two teams with a pair of First Team All-OVC, as freshman Denise Torrealba became the fifth freshman in program history to receive the honor, followed by Jana Leder receiving the honor for the second time in as many opportunities.
A consistent force from each of the No. 1 positions, Torrealba has earned 11 singles victories during her freshman campaign and boasts a 9-2 record from the top line, while earning 10 doubles victories alongside senior Honoka Nakanishi in doubles.
After a slow start to her season, Leder won nine of her final 11 singles matches from the No. 2 position and posted a 6-1 record in OVC play in which she is 14-1 over the last two seasons.
Rounding out the APSU Govs’ All-OVC nods, senior Danielle Morris was named a Second Team All-OVC recipient for the second-consecutive year after going 6-1 in singles during the OVC slate. The Queensland, Australia native also holds a 6-2 mark in doubles during the spring while exclusively playing on the No. 2 court alongside Leder.
Senior Martina Paladini-Jennings finished her season out strong, tying for a team-best 11 singles wins from the No. 3 and No. 4 positions, while Aleks Topalovic won three of her last four matches from the No. 5 position, finishing the regular season with seven singles victories.
Freshman Yu-Hua Cheng has quietly had one of the most impressive seasons by a freshman in recent memory while anchoring the Governors’ lineup. The New Taipei City, Taiwan native finished the regular season 10-3 in singles play, including a perfect, 6-0 mark in OVC action.
The Racers have won three-straight matches, including a 4-1 victory against SIU Edwardsville in the First Round of the OVC Championship, Friday. In their three-match winning streak, MSU also has knocked off the top two teams in the OVC standings in Southeast Missouri (13-6 5-2 OVC) and the Governors.
Austin Peay and Murray State meet in the postseason for just the sixth time in program history. The Governors have won four-straight matches against the Racers in the OVC Championship and are 4-1 all-time against MSU in the postseason.
About the Murray State Racers
2022 Record: 12-9 (4-3 OVC)
Notable Players: Stasya Sharapova and Annika Pschorr – Second Team All-OVC selections.
2021 Record: 8-10, 4-3 OVC
2021 Season Result: After entering the 2021OVC Women’s Tennis Championship as the No. 3 seed, the Racers were swept by Austin Peay State University, 4-0, in the tournament’s semifinals.
All-Time Series (Since 1970): 48-21 MSU
APSU vs. MSU in the postseason: 4-1 APSU
Last Meeting: The Governors suffered their first conference loss of the season in a 4-3 match against the Racers, April 24th. Despite Topalovic and Cheng picking up a 6-1 win on No. 3 doubles, the Govs fell on their top two lines.
In her win from the No. 4 position, Morris became the first player in APSU women’s tennis history to post a winning record at all six singles and three doubles positions. She holds a 1-0, 17-9, 1-0, 2-1, 9-2, 11-1 record from the No. 1-6 singles positions, respectively, while also going 18-7, 5-2, 10-3 mark in each respective doubles position.
Scouting the Field
No. 2 Southeast Missouri (13-6, 5-2 OVC): After standing atop the OVC standings heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, the Redhawks dropped their first OVC match of the season against Austin Peay State University, April 16th, before dropping the second against the Racers, April 19th.
The Redhawks play Belmont on Saturday at 10:00pm.
No. 3 Belmont (12-7, 5-2 OVC): The Bruins finished the season on a three-match OVC winning streak, with their only losses coming to the teams ranked above them in sending in APSU and Southeast Missouri.
Freshman Gina Feistel leads Belmont with 12 wins singles wins and finished the conference slate a perfect 7-0 in singles play from the No. 1 position.
Peyton Lee and Somer Henry led BU with 12 double wins this season, 11 of which have come from the No. 2 position.
The Bruins play SEMO on Saturday at 10:00am.
Follow the APSU Govs
Next Up For APSU Women’s Tennis
The winner of Saturday’s match between the Austin Peay State University Governors and Murray State Racers advances to the OVC Championship match against the winner of Saturday afternoon’s contest between Southeast Missouri and Belmont, which will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday.