TENNIS RANKED SECOND IN OVC PRESEASON POLLS; SIMIC RANKED AS SECOND-BEST RETURNER
MARTIN, Tenn. – Coming off back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship appearances, The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s tennis team has been selected second in the Ohio Valley Conference predicted order of finish, as chosen by the league’s head coaches. In addition, Skyhawk junior Ivon Simic was named the league’s No. 2 player heading into the 2013 spring season.
“The team and I are proud that the coaches in our conference think so highly of our program but I believe there are some teams on this list that are much better than their ranking,” UT Martin head coach Dennis Taylor said. “Southeast Missouri has one of the best teams in the conference and they were ranked down at No. 9. Also, I know Belmont (No. 8) is new to our conference but they have always had a quality program. Being ranked second in the preseason is an honor but I don’t think our girls are practicing and training for second place.”
The Skyhawks tallied 89 points and one first-place vote in the preseason ballot, trailing only Eastern Kentucky (100 points, 10 first-place votes). UT Martin has compiled a 15-2 combined league record the past two seasons and returns six upperclassmen from last season’s squad – including four seniors.
A native of Lauterbach, Hesse, Germany, Simic is coming off a sophomore season where she was named to the All-OVC second team. She went a combined 16-2 against OVC competition in singles and doubles action, tallying a 7-2 singles slate to go along with a perfect 9-0 doubles mark. On the season, she racked up winning streaks of six and five matches in doubles as well as a five-match winning streak in singles.
For her career, Simic boasts a combined 35-28 record with a 19-6 mark in the OVC. She also has been named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her first two full seasons as a Skyhawk.
“Ivon played at No. 4 for us last year so I was afraid that she might be overlooked in the preseason rankings,” Taylor said. “I am happy to see that the other coaches recognize how much she has improved in a very short time.”
UT Martin resumes its 2013 schedule on Sunday, Feb. 17 when it travels to Chattanooga for a 2 p.m. matchup.