By: Darcy Waskiewicz, Contributor
Both of the Furman tennis teams dominated in their first matches of the season and look to hold onto that momentum as they continue into the rest of the season. The men’s team began their season with a 7-0 win over South Carolina State, while the women’s team defeated Elon 7-0 in their season opener.
The Furman men’s tennis team has struggled since playing their first match, dropping their next two matches with losses against Charlotte and Georgia Tech to bring their record to 1-2. However, the Paladins have an opportunity to regain their stride with the combination of junior Clarke Wilson and sophomore Drew Singerman, who were victorious in doubles competition in the first two games of the season.
The Furman women’s tennis team continues to have success after their first match with a 5-2 win against Georgia State. Despite some difficulties in doubles competition, the Paladins have thrived in singles competition with a sweep against Elon and five important wins against Georgia State that helped boost Furman to victory.
One player to watch as the season continues is junior Katarina Kozarov. Not only does Kozarov continue to excel in singles competition, but she is also ranked 30th nationally in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 125 National Singles rankings that were released last November.
“I had a really good fall, I got ranked, so my main focus is to keep getting better, focus on the process,” said Kozarov. When asked about the upcoming season, Kozarov said, “this is definitely a special team and I can’t wait to see what we have.”
“We return our top five from the team that won the Southern Conference regular season and tournament last year, and then we brought in three really talented freshmen,” said Paladin head coach Adam Herendeen about the upcoming season. “The big goal is to advance in the NCAA tournament.” Furman has made it to the NCAA tournament the past two years in a row, but lost in the first round of the tournament both years.
The Paladins expect to have a strenuous schedule, but look for success in both the regular season and the NCAA tournament with the experience of the returning members, along with the new talent that the freshmen have to offer.