Friday, February 28, 2014


ANDERSON, S.C. – Looking to erase its slow start to the season as it heads into the heart of South Atlantic Conference play, Anderson University women’s tennis welcomes Mars Hill to the Upstate on Saturday. First serve from the Max Grubbs Memorial Courts is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Trojans
After AU’s comeback bid against Tusculum fell just short last weekend, claiming four singles matches, the Trojans suffered their second conference loss of the season and moved to 1-4 for the season. With a 1-2 mark in SAC play, Anderson sits alone in sixth-place in the league standings as two conference teams has yet to play a league match this season.

Despite the slow start to the season, junior Karen Ching has made the most of her opportunity moving to the No. 1 singles position. Ching is a perfect 4-0 at the No. 1 spot, winning all of her matches in straight sets. On the doubles side, Ching and senior Avery Owens have gotten off to a rough start and are just 2-3 for the year. Last season, the tandem finished 12-3 including a 6-1 mark in the league.

Also shining in the singles round is freshman Rebecca Bruning and sophomore Alexandra Ebner with three wins apiece on the young season.

The Lions
With the combination of the fall season, Mars Hill is 3-4 for the 2013-14 year and winners of two of its last three matches. The Lions are coming off a 7-2 win at King on Tuesday, while splitting their first SAC matches with a 5-4 win over Catawba on Feb. 21 and 7-2 setback to Queens last Sunday. With the even 1-1 SAC record, MHU is fifth in the league standings.

Mars Hill returns Preseason Second-Team honoree Tatiana Dualiby as she enters the weekend with a 5-2 record for the 2013-14 season. Dualiby opened the 2014 spring season with a three-set loss to UNC Asheville’s Zoe Hamel (6-4, 1-6, 0-1) for her lone three-set setback of the season. Most recently, the senior posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over King’s Katya Cerny.

Joining Dualiby with five singles wins on the year is Anna Rickenbaker who has captured her last three matches, including straight-set wins over Catawba’s Sloan Kessley and Queens’ Melissa Laing. Rickenbaker, who is projected to play at the No. 2 position this weekend, posted the Lions’ only point against the Trojans a season ago with a straight-set win at No. 3.

The Series
Since joining the SAC prior to the 2011 spring season, Anderson is a perfect 3-0 against Mars Hill in its matchups during the regular season. The most points MHU has scored on the Trojans was three in 2012.