Murray State women’s tennis hosted the Governors of Austin Peay in their final match of the regular season on Wednesday afternoon. The Racers, who were competing for a share of the regular season Ohio Valley Conference title, came up short in a 5-2 Heritage Bank Battle of the Border match at the Bennie Purcell Tennis Courts in Murray, Kentucky.

In doubles play, the Racers dropped a pair of matches with a score of 6-1 as Austin Peay was able to secure the doubles point to begin the afternoon.

In singles, Claire Chang turned in an outstanding performance as she defeated Claudia Yanes Garcia (7-5, 6-3) in the No. 1 singles position for Murray State. Also earning a victory in singles would be Sara Loncarevic, who came out victorious after the match went to a ten-point tiebreaker to conclude the day.

“Claire’s win was really important. She hasn’t been healthy all year, and she fought hard. We know that when she’s healthy she can beat anyone in the conference. She’s that good of a player. Sometimes she just needs someone to trigger that emotion inside of her. She can be the best player in our conference, and we just need her to be at that level,” said MSU head coach Jorge Caetano.

The Racers, who finish the regular season at 12-8 overall with a 6-2 record in the OVC, are guaranteed a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, but will now have to play the waiting game to see where they will fall in the final standings before receiving their seed in the tournament bracket.

“First, the most important thing is to get healthy. I think it will play in our favor that we had a Wednesday match so now we can have a couple days off. Then, we will see what the bracket is going to look like. Our focus going into the tournament is to work on doubles. We will work on doubles a lot during the next week because the doubles point makes such a big difference. Especially when playing a team like this, we have to start the match better. Pushing forward, we have nothing to lose. We’re playing some of our best tennis right now across all courts, and we just have to continue to do that in the tournament,” added Caetano.

“Across the board, we need to get everyone fired up and ready to go. We saw that they are not a monster. They are a very good team, but they are not a monster and we’ll be ready in the tournament if we see them again,” concluded Caetano.

The Racers will be back in action at the OVC tournament next weekend, and will play their first match on either Friday, April 26th, or the following day on the 27th depending on their seed in the tournament bracket. This year’s tournament will take place at the Centennial Sportsplex Tennis Center Nashville, Tennessee.  — 

Dan Hasko

Media Relations (SB, Soc, Ten)Murray State University


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