PENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s tennis team played competitively but couldn’t overcome nationally ranked Division II foe No. 1 West Florida on Wednesday afternoon, falling 5-2.
The Skyhawks (3-5) got off to a bumpy start, dropping the doubles points as the No. 1 doubles tandem of Sarah Candeloro and Ivon Simic fell to Monika Kochanova and Laure-Eline Faure 8-3. The No. 2 team of Jessica Silva and Burcu Tari fell to Nina Bubelova and Fernanda Amaral 8-1. The Skyhawks picked up their lone victory of doubles play at No. 3 as Katie McCall and Hitomi Naito picked up the 8-4 victory over Giovana Patitucci and Francesca Fanchin.
The Argonauts picked up victories at both No. 1 and 2 before the Skyhawks notched their first victory. Simic fell to No. 20 Monika Kochanova 6-0, 6-4 while Candeloro dropped the 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 match to Faure.
The Skyhawks won back-to-back matches at No. 3 and 4 as Naito won a tightly contested match at 6-4, 7-6. Tari kept the streak going with another win with a match of 6-2, 6-2. Silva would dropped a close contest 6-3, 6-4 before McCall fell to Fanchin 6-0, 6-2 to wrap up the victory for West Florida.
“This was probably the best team we've played all year,” said tennis coach Dennis Taylor. “I was extremely proud of how we played today, especially in doubles. We have been struggling to find the right combinations. Maybe now we have the right players paired together.”