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Southeast tennis has hopes for next years season
The Southeast women's tennis team finished its season with a 5-13 record overall and 2-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference. It was a step backward for the program.
Last year, the Redhawks finished with a 13-8 record overall and 5-4 in OVC play, qualifying for the OVC tournament.
“I think the team overall did much better. We were much better at tennis, we just got unlucky,” sophomore Kseniya Zonova said.
“Tennis-wise we have a stronger team this year than we had last year, but we had a small roster size,” head coach Mary Beth Gunn said. Due to multiple injuries, Gunn said she only had five players for the match against Western Illinois on March 13, forfeiting one match.
The Redhawks finished eighth among the 10 OVC teams. However, the Redhawks had a promising start to the season.
After defeating Tennessee State 4-3 on the road on March 23 to improve to 2-0 in the OVC. the team went cold. The following day the Redhawks fell 2-5 to Belmont, the first loss of what became a six-match losing streak in OVC play.
The Redhawks were without junior Isabella Kruppa for most of that stretch, and lost four straight matches by a 3-4 score.
“We didn’t accomplish all of our goals this season,” Gunn said. “One of our main goals was to make it back to the conference tournament, even when we were not healthy. We had some unfortunate things happen that were not in our control. As far as things that are in our control, we did the best we could with what we had.”
Gunn said injuries were difficult to overcome.
“When one person at the top of your lineup gets injured everybody has to move up,” Gunn said.“... I think that if we had everybody healthy, we should have been in the top four in the conference.”
Sophomores Oleksandra Doroshenko and Kseniya Zonova, who posted a combined singles record of 39-22, led the Redhawks. Doroshenko was selected All-OVC First Team, with Zonova delete selected All-OVC Second Team.
“We were really strong at one and two this year. They both had winning records, which is really hard to do going up against the strongest players in the conference every match,” Gunn said.
Doroshenko boasted a 19-12 singles record along with an 11-12 doubles record, where she often played alongside Zonova.
Both Doroshenko and Zonova voiced confidence next year could be a big year for the Redhawks.
“Next year we will have Isabella (Kruppa) back on the court, I think we will do much next year,” said Doroshenko. “I’m excited about next year. I’m excited about our freshman. I think they will be a big addition to the team,” Zonova said.
Gunn stressed the players need to maintain their fitness and tennis levels over the summer if they hope to “come back ready to play” next season.
“We’re bringing back a good solid group of players for next year, everybody has more experience under their belt for next year, and then we’re bringing in some very good players for next year as well, which will only make us stronger,” Gunn said