Written by Darcy Waskiewics, Sports Editor
Furman men’s and women’s tennis teams had strong finishes to their 2019 fall season, with the women’s team concluding their season at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown, while the men ended their fall season with the Furman Duals competition.
After a strong performance at the Furman Duals in early November, the women’s team looked to carry that success into the Seminole All-Conference Showdown the week after. There, sophomore Mary Hunter Hyche claimed three singles victories, while freshman Maggie Pate won two singles matches and senior Danni Vines, sophomore Madison Dillon, junior Mary Rompf and junior Georgie Walker all claimed one singles victory each.
Furman also won five doubles matches at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown. Mary Rompf and Georgie Walker won two doubles matches as a pair, along with Madison Dillon and Danni Vines, who also won two doubles matches. Mary Hunter Hyche and Maggie Pate also teamed up to claim a doubles victory.
While the women’s team was competing at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown, senior Katarina Kozarov became the first Paladin to compete in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. There, she defeated Rebeka Mertena of Tennessee before losing to Bunyawi Thamchaiwat of Oklahoma State.
Kozarov is ranked 13th in the 2019 Oracle Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I National Fall Rankings, while the doubles team of Madison Dillon and sophomore Julia Adams are ranked 23rd and the doubles team of Kozarov and Adams are ranked 30th.
The women’s team looks to prepare for the beginning of the 2020 spring season, which begins on Jan. 15 against N.C. State. The Paladins have made it to the NCAA Championships for the past three years, but have yet to make it past the first round, with the Paladins falling short to Tennessee last May. The Paladins look to change this recent pattern at the NCAA Championships as the team heads into the upcoming 2020 spring season.
The men’s team was also victorious at Furman Duals in late October, defeating Appalachian State, UNC Greensboro, and Winthrop. Against Appalachian State, Furman won three out of four doubles competitions and five singles victories. Against UNCG, the Paladins swept the doubles matches and claimed victories in seven of the eight singles matches, while also sweeping the doubles and singles matches against Winthrop.
The doubles team of senior Jake Munns and Jake Bhangdia is ranked 10th nationally in the 2019 Oracle ITA Division I National Fall Rankings. The men’s team begins the 2020 spring season on Jan. 11 against Florida.