MARTIN, TN – With only a trio of games remaining on the 2022 regular season schedule for the University of Tennessee tennis team at Martin, the Skyhawks will prepare for the next two in their own backyard this weekend. Kicking off a tough two-day stretch by hosting Governors Austin Peay – current holders of a seven-game winning streak – UTM will turn around after Friday’s meeting with APSU and face the Murray State Racers in the last senior home appearance Sina Albersmeier and the rest of the head coach Caitlyn Williams‘ unit this spring.
Going into Friday and Saturday’s double feature with a 1-3 record against Ohio Valley Conference opposition, the Skyhawks were last seen in Nashville late last weekend in a back-and-forth with Belmont where the Bruins eventually grabbed a 5-2 Decision. As the hourglass fades to nine days until the 2022 Finals at Tennessee State, UT Martin claims the No. 6 seed in the latest OVC standings – one game ahead of the Tigers and Eastern Illinois, which the Skyhawks defeated on neutral ground — which would grant them entry to the conference tournament in Evansville, Indiana, the last weekend in April.
However, there’s still a lot of work to do before thinking about the playoffs, starting with the scorching governors on Friday in a major league game. Completely reversing the script on what started as an 0-5 record, Austin Peay will face the Skyhawks as one of only two OVC teams with a perfect score against other conference schools alongside the southeast Missouri, which UTM also hosted two weeks ago.
Downing their first three league opponents by a combined score of 16-5, APSU will look to repeat the 2021 result against the Skyhawks, a 4-3 barnburner to Martin. After pushing top seed SEMO to the limit in their last home outing, UTM aim to hand Governors their first loss since Feb. 20and on Fridays, with the first service at 2:00 p.m.
The following afternoon at 12:00 p.m., the Skyhawks will honor Albersmeier’s accomplishments on the senior day before taking on rival Murray State, a team sitting 9-8 on aggregate heading into the weekend. While UTM takes on Austin Peay, the Racers travel to Cape Girardeau for a Friday duel with Southeast Missouri trailing a 2-2 rally against league opponents.
Possessing 14 total singles and doubles wins over their four conference dates – including three singles wins each of Lia Espinal and Mizuki Sakurai – the Skyhawks have won at least a double W in every OVC fight, accomplishing that feat in five of their last six games.