By Tyler Hofmann-Reardon
Roanoke’s Women’s Tennis Team opened the 2015 season with three matches over Valentine’s Day weekend. The Maroons, ranked #17 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Atlantic South Region, faced off against #15 ranked Christopher Newport, #8 Methodist University, and ODAC rival Sweet Briar in what would become an action packed weekend for the Maroons.
The first match saw the Maroons absolutely annihilate Sweet Briar in a series of completely one-sided matches. On the doubles side, the Maroons’ #1 team of Emily Henderson and Reed Kegel silenced their opponents with an 8-0 rout. Next, the Maroons’ #2 team of Haley Goodes and Tracy Kile handed their opponents an 8-2 beating. To finalize the dominance of Roanoke’s doubles play, the #3 team of Alexandra Martin and Catherine Lee secured an 8-2 win over their competitors.
In singles play, the Maroons also picked up wins at the #2 and #6 spots. Reed Kegel finished her day on a high note with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Sweet Briar’s #2 singles player. Alexandra Martin secured a win at the #6 spot with an easy 6-2, 6-0 win to secure the Maroons solid win over Sweet Briar.
Against their fellow ranked opponents, Roanoke did not fare as well. Against a strong Methodist squad, the Maroons’ doubles teams struggled. The #1 team of Henderson and Kegel fell 8-5, the #2 team of Kristen McDowell and Emma Barker fell 9-8 in a hard fought battle, and the #3 team of Briell Smith and Lydia Dey lost 9-7 in another close match. The Maroons picked it up a little in singles play, when Smith beat Methodists #3 singles player 6-3, 6-4 and Kaitlyn Diskerud topped her opponent 6-1, 6-3 in #6 singles. Unfortunately, the two singles wins were not enough for the Maroons, and the match ended in a loss.
Finally, against #15 Christopher Newport, the host team, the Maroons ran into a brick wall. Both doubles and singles players struggled to gain any ground against CNU. Henderson and Kegel struggled in doubles, their toughest loss of the weekend. Smith and Goodes, who played strong in the other two matches, also struggled as both fell 6-1, 6-4 in their respective matches. In the end, CNU shut out the Maroons, handing them their second loss of the season.
With a 1-2 start to the season, the Maroons will look to get back to their winning ways on Feb. 22nd against Washington and Lee.