Tennis finds success in fall tournaments

Jordan Cox
Sports Writer

The Samford University men’s tennis team continued its streak of success Friday at the 2011 Samford Fall Tournament as they notched six singles wins and three doubles victories on the opening day of play at the Samford Tennis Center.

“It was a great weekend. We got a lot of matches in, which is a lot more important than the actual result,” senior Ryan Shidler said.

In singles play, the Bulldogs scored victories from junior Carson Kadi, sophomore Zac Dunkle, freshman Elliot Barnwell, sophomore Alex Sajonz, sophomore Scott Foster and junior Mark Lange.

Samford also tallied wins from doubles tandems Barnwell and Dunkle, Shidler and Sajonz and Foster and senior Joe Hunsicker.

The three-day event featured competitors from Jacksonville State, Troy and UAB. The tournament consisted of a round-robin format with a singles and doubles champion for each flight.

“Our team played well and we were able to execute some things we have been working on and it also gave us the opportunity to see where we needed to improve by the next tournament,” Shilder said.

Samford men’s tennis will compete this weekend in Auburn, Ala. at the four-day USTA/ITA Southern Regional Tournament.

In women’s action, the Bulldogs turned in a successful weekend of play at the Roberta Alison Fall Classic Saturday as Samford concluded competition at the University of Alabama’s Tennis Complex in Tuscaloosa.

The Roberta Alison Classic was held Friday and Saturday, and the field for the tournament included Samford, Alabama, Alabama-Huntsville, Auburn, Chattanooga, Georgia State, Houston, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Northwestern State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, NC State, Southern Miss, Troy, UAB and West Alabama.

Senior Rebecca Kirven shined in the Bulldogs’ singles play over the two-day event. In the Flight 5 singles tournament, Kirven rallied to win the championship title of her bracket. Kirven, a native of Windermere, Fla., dropped a match against Troy’s Olfa Dhaoui, but battled back to a straight-set win over second-seeded Misha Testerman of Kentucky, 6-3, 6-1. Kirven then outlasted Andrea Nedorostova of Northwestern State in Saturday’s championship match, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9.

Freshman AnnMarie Lyon also advanced to the championship match of her single flight. In the Flight 9 bracket of the tournament Lyon, from Lexington, Ky., notched victories against Northwestern State and UAB, before falling in two sets, 6-4, 6-2 to Chattanooga in the championship match.

Senior Madelie Janse Van Rensburg earned a two-set win against Mississippi State in the Flight 1 bracket, while sophomore Kristin Lewis beat Troy in three sets in the Flight 2 bracket. In Flight 7, junior Emily Mallory finished 2-1 on the weekend and senior Jessica Diamond cruised to a straight-set win.

The Samford University women’s tennis team will be in action Oct. 21 as the Bulldogs host the 2011 USTA/ITA Southern Regionals, which will be held for the second straight season at the Samford Tennis Center. The USTA/ITA Southern Regionals will be played Oct. 21 through Oct. 24.

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