MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis team was edged in several close decisions as the Skyhawks fell by a 5-2 margin at in-state rival Middle Tennessee this afternoon.
UT Martin (0-2) nearly claimed the early momentum but came up just short in doubles. Hitomi Naito and Burcu Tari pieced together a 6-4 win at No. 2 but the Skyhawks could not cash in with another victory as Sarah Candeloro/Jemima Potter fell in a 7-6 (4) tiebreaker at No. 2 while Andrea Plantada Cortes and Asel Jumamukhambetova narrowly dropped a 7-5 decision at No. 3.
Candeloro got revenge in singles play, improving to 2-0 in the young spring season with a 6-2, 5-7, 10-7 victory at No. 1. Tari put the finishing touches on an undefeated day with an exhilarating 6-4, 3-6, 14-12 marathon win at No. 4.
However, the remaining four singles matchups did not go UT Martin’s way. Jumamukhambetova almost pulled off a win at No. 5 before falling in a 6-4, 5-7, 8-10 tiebreaker. Naito was defeated 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 while Plantada Cortes fell 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6. Potter also battled at No. 3 before falling by a 6-1, 6-1 margin.
The Skyhawks will spend three weeks away from official competition before continuing their season-opening eight-game road swing on Sunday, Feb. 26 at regional rival Southern Illinois. First serve in Carbondale is set for 9:30 a.m.