ANDERSON, S.C. – Snapping a three-match winning streak on Friday to Peach Belt Conference’s GRU Augusta, Anderson University women’s tennis looks to get back on the winning track when it heads to Queens on Tuesday, marking the first time the teams will square off as conference rivals since 2010. First serve from Freedom Park is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
After winning three-in-a-row over Mars Hill, Converse and Brevard, AU saw its winning streak halted by the Jaguars with a 6-3 setback, dropping the Trojans below .500 at 4-5 for the year. Despite the mark, Anderson looks to climb up the South Atlantic Conference standings as it currently sits in fifth place, two games behind undefeated Wingate (5-0) and Tusculum (4-0).
In the loss at GRU Augusta, the duo of junior Karen Ching and senior Avery Owens, who are ranked No. 9 regionally in the latest ITA Rankings, posted AU’s lone doubles win with an 8-3 decision at the No. 1 spot. The doubles win was the tandem’s fifth of the season and third in their last four matches.
In the singles round, Ching continued her momentum with a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 victory over GRU Augusta’s Aida Castany at the No. 1 position. With her win, Ching improved to 6-2 while playing No. 1 with all of her wins coming in straight sets. Also earning a win in the singles round was freshman Rebecca Bruning who tallied a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Gisela Font at No. 3. Bruning improved to 7-1 in singles for the season, as she leads the team in victories in her first season with the Trojans.
Queens comes into Tuesday’s meeting with an impressive 8-1 record, as it has tallied four 9-0 shutouts for the year. With the record, the Royals are currently riding a three-match winning streak as their lone setback of the season came against conference-leading Wingate on Feb. 27, as they fell 6-3 at the WU Tennis Complex.
Led by the No. 6 ranked doubles tandem in the Southeast Region of senior Christina Rustscheff and freshman Melissa Laing, the Royals are coming off a 9-0 victory over Coker on Friday. No Cobra was able to reach more than two games in any match as one doubles match and one singles match were shutouts.
Rustcheff, who is ranked No. 15 in the regional rankings, came away with a 6-0, 6-1 win at the No. 1 position against Coker as she is coming off a 2013 campaign where she finished 18-2 in singles and 18-4 in doubles. For her efforts a season ago, the senior was named to the Conference Carolinas All-Conference Team and the all-district team.
Anderson and Queens will meet for the first time since the Royals defeated the Trojans, 5-0, in the second round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament on April 17, 2010. In that season, Queens defeated AU twice, knocking off the Trojans 7-2 in the teams’ last regular season matchup as conference rivals.