The Shawnee State men’s and women’s tennis squads opened their home schedule last Wednesday, with both teams picking up wins over Ohio Christian.
The men’s tennis program got their first home victory in program history by defeating the Trailblazers, 8-1. Shawnee State won all three doubles matches. Matthew Bryant and Zach Colley defeated James Wells and Dylan Wilkerson 8-3 to record the first home victory for Shawnee State. Nick Johnson defeated Ryan Jones 6-0, 6-2 for the first men’s tennis singles home victory on the afternoon as Shawnee State dominated the Trailblazers.
Women’s tennis also picked up a win with a narrow 6-3 decision over OCU. The women went 1-2 in doubles, with Adrianna Johnson and Shelby Hay picking up the lone win, 8-2 over Emily Miller and Javon Graham. Singles went much better for the Bears as Shawnee State won five of six matches on the evening. Katy Singer had the best singles match for Shawnee State, blanking opponent Erinn Bailey 6-0, 6-0. Shawnee State’s Megan Meyers and OCU’s Emily Miller would play a marathon match, lasting two hours 45 minutes before Meyers was declared the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1).
With the wins, both Shawnee State tennis teams improve to 2-0 on the season. Ohio Christian’s men fall to 0-2, and the OCU women fall to 0-5. The 2-0 start is the first time since 2015 that the SSU women’s tennis team has won back-to-back games.
Prior to Wednesday’s match, Shawnee State hosted an opening ceremony to honor Dr. William Daehler’s contributions to SSU’s tennis programs. Dr. Daehler was instrumental in funding the start of the men’s tennis program. Speeches were made by Shawnee State President Dr. Rick Kurtz, athletics director Jeff Hamilton, and head tennis coach Steve Boone. Dr. Daehler then hit the first serve to inaugurate the season.
Then on Thursday afternoon, the Shawnee State tennis programs opened Mid-South Conference play, with the SSU men falling to Pikeville 8-1, and the women earning a 5-4 victory over UPike.
Men’s tennis had a frustrating day, falling in all three doubles matches and five out of six singles matches. Clint Burk was the lone winner on the day for the men, defeating opponent Kenton Hall 1-6, 6-2, and 11-9 in the tiebreaker.
Shawnee State’s women benefited from three Pikeville forfeits to earn their third victory of the season. Shelby Hay and Adrianna Johnson won their doubles matches over Bryanna Shroers and Emma Wonn 8-4 in doubles, and Katy Singer was Shawnee State’s lone singles winner, defeating Wonn 4-6, 6-2, and 10-2 in the tiebreaker.
The loss moves Shawnee State’s men to 2-1 on the season, and 0-1 in the Mid-South Conference. Women’s tennis improved to 3-0 on the season, and 1-0 in the conference. This marked the first time since March 2010 that Shawnee State’s women won three matches in a row, and Thursday’s victory over Pikeville represented their first conference victory since April 2015.
As of press time, the Bears held a 3-2 record on the women’s side and a 2-3 record on the men’s side after weekend losses to Saint Francis (Ind.) and Bethel (Tenn.). Both teams return to action on Saturday, when Shawnee State plays Alice Lloyd and Asbury in the Asbury University Tri-Match. Game times are set for 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
Check out a future edition of the Portsmouth Daily Times for more information regarding the Opening Ceremonies for the newly formed men’s tennis program.