The University of Memphis women’s tennis side has started their nomadic season with a pair of losses against SEC opponents, but they are off a recent win against the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks. Their last two matches were played in a doubleheader hosted by Ole Miss this past Sunday.
The Tigers lost 2-5 and 1-4 against the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Ole Miss Rebels, respectively until they swept the Skyhawks 4-0 in the afternoon match.
Memphis head coach Hayden Perez praised his team shaking off the early defeat in the doubleheader to earn their first win of the 2020 campaign against their Ohio Valley Conference opponent.
“I don’t think we competed as well as we were capable of this morning, and the team understood that,” Perez said. “We came out with a little slow start in doubles, but then (Memphis) took over, had the right mentality and finished it out.
Junior Lina Hohnhold was the player of the day in both matches as she swept both opponents 6-0 on court 6 in all four sets. The Hann, Germany native’s performance made her the clear winner for the “Bagel Award” Perez was proud of her singles outing and gave her a unique team award.
“When you beat someone 6-0, we call it a bagel, so she had a double bagel in her first and second match,” Perez said after the win. “So, we talked about it as a group, and we’re going to give her an award for the day; we call it the Bagel Award.”
Hohnhold also saw success in her lone doubles match of the day against the Rebels paired with senior Josephine Cao. They defeated Rebels’ duo Kelsey Mize and Vic de Samucewicz by the score of 6-2.
“(Hohnhold) played hard, and she’s a very good competitor,” Perez said. “She’s an example of someone who has a lot of focus and didn’t really take any time off. She didn’t let off the gas.”
Another notable performance includes freshman Aran Teixido Garcia who made her first match clinch of the year against UT-Martin with a 6-2,6-3 victory against Jule Streif. The lone freshman Monique Woog from Lakeland, Tenn. earned her first career singles win against the Skyhawks after defeating Aziza Aubin 6-1,6-1.
This Memphis team carries the burden of traveling to 13 different sites to play their 17 road matches.
The team has a total of four home games (two of which come from a doubleheader) compared to eight in the 2019 spring season. Their first “home” match against Lipscomb and Southeast Missouri State (doubleheader) will be hosted at the Eldon Roark Tennis Center in Whitehaven.
After having played three matches in three days, the women’s tennis team has a few weeks to get ready for their next away game at Auburn. The other Tigers start the season 2-0 with sweeps against Central Arkansas and the University of Alabama at Birmingham and will compete in four more contests before Memphis comes to town.
Perez will take advantage of an early season break to carry their momentum from the first year against Auburn.
“It’s another strong SEC team; so, we’re going to prepare for that, and I think our kids are up for the challenge,” Perez said. “I like that we have two weeks to get ready.”
Hayden Perez has some words with an Ole Miss coach after their match in Oxford, Miss. on Jan. 20, 2020. Perez's team stands with an 1-2 record with both loses coming from SEC schools.
Lina Hohnhold in action against Ole Miss. Hohnhold won all doubles and singles matches against Ole Miss and UT-Martin.