|Senior Day highlights close to regular season|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s tennis team returns to the courts for a pair of matches this week, as it puts a cap on the regular-season slate with a home contest Thursday and short road trip Friday. The 49ers begin the stretch by playing host to Furman at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in a Senior Day match before a 3 p.m. Friday first serve at Davidson in Davidson, N.C.
Stepping onto the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex courts for the final time Thursday afternoon will be one-half of the Niners’ roster, as five of the 10 players are seniors. The quintet of Emmanuelle Briant, Anna Ekelund, Iveta Guneva, Ginny Johnson and Alexandra Zinn will be honored prior to the start of the match for their contributions on and off the court the last four years.
Zinn is the lone member of the group to earn a postseason All-Atlantic 10 honor, receiving the league first-team nod in each of the last two seasons. Ekelund has added an Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honor, coming during her junior campaign, while Guneva’s 61 career singles victories tie her for eighth in program history.
Briant and Johnson have been held to limited action on the courts; however, both are strong academically with their placement on the Chancellor’s and Athletic Director’s Lists, respectively.
The quintet has helped lead Charlotte to a 9-5 record this season during dual match competition. The Niners are 7-2 on their home courts, having won their last three at the facility entering Thursday’s action. The last two victories were 7-0 decisions against Dayton, the lone regular-season A-10 match, and Wofford.
Ekelund and Guneva pace the squad with 14 singles wins apiece. The pair is joined in double digits by sophomore Natsuko Takayanagi, who has been triumphant four times in a row to raise her total to 11. Sophomore Lisa Grosselius and freshman Tyler Baker are on the verge of joining the trio with nine and eight, respectively. Fellow rookie, Jessica Pérez, has accumulated seven singles victories in limited action.
Furman starts its week with a 10-8 record but will face Western Carolina at home Wednesday afternoon before making the trek to Charlotte. The Paladins and 49ers were originally slated to square off February 23 but inclement weather forced the match to be rescheduled.
Katherine Oudin is the lone Furman singles player with double-digit victories, earning 10 thus far, while Michele Stanford has picked up nine.
Davidson will not play again until the Friday meeting and the Wildcats own a 9-9 ledger. Nisha Crouser paces the squad with 11 singles wins with Elaina Cummer’s seven next on the list.