MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis squad closed out the regular season in style today, posting a 4-3 victory over Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Illinois on Senior Day.
The UT Martin senior trio of Sarah Candeloro, Hitomi Naito and Burcu Tari were honored with a pregame ceremony before playing their final match at Skyhawk Varsity Courts. Those three have combined for 460 career wins to make up the best class in head coach Dennis Taylor’s 30-year tenure.
Tari and Andrea Plantada Cortes got things started with a 6-4 win at No. 3 doubles. Candeloro and Jemima Potter then earned a huge 7-6 (9) win at No. 1 to award the crucial doubles point to the Skyhawks.
In singles, Candeloro kept it rolling with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 1 while Asel Jumamukhambetova picked up a 6-2, 6-2 triumph at No. 3. Plantada Cortes then generated a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 tiebreaker victory at No. 5 that sealed the win for UT Martin.
The Skyhawks (12-4, 8-1 OVC) will now turn their attention to the upcoming OVC Tournament, which will be held on April 21-23 at the Centennial Sportsplex Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn. UT Martin has secured the No. 2 seed in the tournament and receives an automatic bye into Saturday’s 10 a.m. semifinals, where it will face the winner of the No. 3 Eastern Kentucky/No. 6 Murray State match.