Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s tennis team prepares for matches against Murray State and Southeast Missouri, Friday and Saturday, at the Kenlake Tennis Center in Hardin, Kentucky.
A trio of former Ohio Valley Conference rivals, the Governors, Racers, and Redhawks meet for the first time in nonconference play with this week’s matches. It also is the Govs’ first meeting with MSU and SEMO in the OVC tournament last season.
Jana Leder led the Govs with four combined victories in Austin Peay State University’s wins against Western Kentucky and Belmont last week from the No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles positions. She and freshman Melody Hefti — who enters this week’s matches with a 3-0 mark in singles play — are 2-1 in doubles from the top line this season.
Last season, the APSU Govs came back from a 3-1 deficit in the semifinals of the OVC Tournament to advance to the championship match for the fourth-straight year.
After falling in doubles and two of the first three singles matches, Jana Leder came back after dropping her first set to claim the Govs’ second point of the match and begin the comeback. After Leder’s win APSU alumna Aleks Topalovic won from the No. 5 court to even the match at three points apiece.
Then-freshman Yu-Hua Cheng split her first two sets from the No. 6 court, before securing the Govs title trip with a 6-3, third-set win.
Another team with a postseason history against the Govs, Southeast Missouri defeated Austin Peay State University, 4-1, in last season’s title match. It was the second-straight season the Govs and Redhawks met in the OVC championship match, with the Govs earning a 4-3 win against the Redhawks in 2021.
About the Murray State Racers
2023 Record: 3-0 (0-0 MVC)
The Racers 2023 Season: Murray State has started its 2023 season with three-straight wins, including a 5-2 victory against ASUN Conference foe Lipscomb, January 29th.
2022 Record: 12-10 (4-3 OVC)
2022 Season Result: After entering the postseason as the No. 4 seed in the OVC Tournament, the Racers fell to the top seeded Governors, 4-3.
All-Time Series (Began in 1970): 48-22, Murray State
Last Meeting: Jana Leder and Danielle Morris earned a 6-1 doubles victory from the No. 2 position, but Austin Peay dropped just its second doubles point in its last 12 matches.
Morris then earned a victory from the No. 4 singles position after her opponent retired late in her first set. The Racers won two-straight singles points from the No. 1 and No. 3 singles position. After dropping her first set, 6-1, Leder came back to win her second and third sets, 6-0, 6-3 to secure the Govs’ second point of the match.
After Topalovic won her match from the No. 5 position in three sets, Cheng clinched the Govs’ fourth-straight trip to the title match with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 win from the No. 6 court. The win also was Cheng’s 11th-straight singles win.
About the Southeast Missouri Redhawks
2023 Record: 1-1 (0-0 OVC)
The Redhawks’ 2023 Season: The Redhawks dropped their season-opener to Missouri, 7-0, before sweeping Central Arkansas, 7-0 the following day for their first win of the season.
2022 Record: 15-7 (5-2 OVC)
2022 Season Result: After defeating the Govs in the OVC title match, the Redhawks fell to No. 15 Stanford, 4-0, in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship.
All-Time Series (Began in 1992): 18-14, APSU
Last Meeting: After winning the doubles point with wins from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, Austin Peay State University was unable to clinch its third-straight OVC title after dropping four-straight singles points.
Follow the APSU Govs
For news and updates throughout the Governors’ inaugural ASUN Conference season, follow the APSU women’s tennis team on Twitter (@GovsWTN), Instagram (@GovsTennis) and Facebook (Austin Peay Tennis).