Bahamian collegiate tennis players pick up wins

A number of Bahamian collegiate tennis players were on the court over the past week, battling for their respective schools. They return to action this weekend in search of a win for their respective schools.

Sydney Clarke and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers (2-4) were on the court in an in-state battle against the University of Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1) on Wednesday afternoon. The Blazers fell 4-0 to the Crimson Tide in the away matchup at the Robert Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I play.

This was the second time that the two sides faced each other this spring. The Crimson Tide won on January 23 as well, 7-0.

On Wednesday, Clarke fell in two sets to Annie Marie Hiser. She lost the first set 7-5 and the second set 6-1.

On the doubles side, Clarke and her partner Megan Bertrands fell 6-2 to Hiser and Anna Parkahomenko.

The Blazers’ winning streak was snapped at two. On Sunday past, they won their second dual of the season, and second straight, when they took down Alabama A&M 7-0 at the Athletic Club Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

In singles, Clarke defeated Neha Ghare in three sets. Clarke won the first set 7-5 before falling 6-1 in the second set. In the third set, the Bahamian showed mental toughness to win 10-5.

Clarke and her doubles partner Alexandra da Silva blanked Ximena Ramirez and Nthabiseng Mashego, 6-0.

Next up for the Blazers will be a matchup against the University of South Alabama Jaguars on Sunday at George Ward Park, in Birmingham, Alabama. The dual gets underway at 10 a.m. Their home matchup against the Tennessee State University Tigers that was scheduled for today was canceled.

Afrika Smith, who plays National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tennis for the Indiana Tech Warriors (3-0), helped her team to stay perfect on the season last week Friday. The Warriors sit just outside of the top 25 in the latest NAIA rankings. They took down the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals (0-3), 7-0, on Friday.

Smith lost the first set 7-5 to Chelsea Dzenga. She roared back to take down Dzenga 6-3 in the second set and 10-5 in the third set.

In doubles, Smith and Isidora Hrnjak took down Dzenga and Sara Neves, 6-4.

Smith and the Warriors will look to stay in the win column when they host the Indiana University-East Red Wolves at the Wildwood Racquet Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana, today. That dual is set to get underway at noon.

Set to play tomorrow in NCAA Division II action is Sierra Donaldson and the Lee University Flames. Donaldson was named athlete of the week in the Gulf South Conference (GSC) for her performance last week. Donaldson and the Flames will play the University of West Florida Argonauts tomorrow at the DeVos Tennis Center in Cleveland, Tennessee, starting at 11 a.m.

Lauryn Daxon, a senior for the Missouri Valley College Vikings, will get her season underway today when they take on the Missouri Western State University Griffons in NAIA competition. Action gets underway at 1 p.m. at the Genesis Health Club in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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