Bahamians experience action in collegiate tennis

Bahamian collegiate tennis players continued to play well for their respective schools this past weekend.

In National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I action, freshman Sydney Clarke and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers (2-5) played on Sunday afternoon on their home courts at George Ward Park, in Birmingham, Alabama. They played the University of South Alabama Jaguars (4-4), and fell 4-1, snapping their 10-match winning streak at home.

Clarke’s match against Diana Monsalve was called at match point in the third set with her leading, 0-6, 6-2 and 5-1. The Jaguars had already clinched the battle between the two schools, 4-1. It was a tough match for Clarke at the beginning as she failed to win a single game in the first set. She dug down deep and battled back to convincingly win the second set 6-2 and then took control in the third set.

Clarke and her doubles partner Annalisa Smith won their doubles match against Otoha Aoki and Caroline Scheufler 7-5, but the Jaguars clinched the doubles point by winning the other two matches.

The Blazers head on the road to play the Samford University Bulldogs today at the Samford Tennis Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The dual battle starts at 1:30 p.m.

Over in NCAA Division II play, Sierra Donaldson and the Lee University Flames (2-1, 0-1 GSC) picked up their first loss of the season when the nationally number seven ranked University of West Florida Argonauts (2-1, 1-0 GSC) took them down, 6-1. The Gulf Southern Conference (GSC) dual was played on the Flames home courts at the DeVos Tennis Center in Cleveland, Tennessee, on Saturday.

Donaldson’s singles match went to three sets before she lost to Samantha Echevarria. Donaldson lost the first set 7-5 before winning the second set 6-4 to set up a decisive third set. The junior lost 10-7 in the third set.

On the doubles side, Donaldson and her partner Carley Sickinger took down Manon Meulenberg and Karolina Silwanowicz, 6-3.

The Flames will remain at home when they play the Carson-Newman University Eagles today at 2 p.m.

It was a winning weekend for Abigail Simms and the Indiana Tech Warriors in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). They play in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC). The Warriors (5-0, 1-0 WHAC) picked up wins on Monday against Lourdes University Gray Wolves (0-4, 0-1 WHAC), 7-0, and on Friday against the Indiana University East Red Wolves (1-4), 6-1. Both duals were played at the Wildwood Racquet Club, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

On Monday, the sophomore only played in doubles as she and partner Isidora Hrnjak blanked Niki Polce and Vanessa Skouroukos, 6-0, to earn a win.

On Friday, Simms played both singles and doubles. In singles, she easily took care of Ashlyn Hubbard, winning 6-1 and 6-0.

On the doubles side, Simms and Hrnjak won 6-1 against Eva Caballero and Linda Marino.

The Warriors head to Bowling Green, Ohio to play the Bowling Green State University Falcons (2-2) at the Perrysburg Tennis Center on Friday.

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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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