NASHVILLLE --- Senior Ani Popiashvili pushed through an emotional match to give the Tennessee State women's tennis team one-of-two points in the loss to Belmont on Thursday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Complex.
The Bruins quickly stepped up clinching the doubles point with victories on courts two and three, leavingplay at No. 1 unfinished.
Moving into singles, Aarushi Kakkar put up a good fight before falling at No. 2 to Drew Hawkins, 6-2, 6-1. Ashia Jones did the same at No. 5, 6-1, 6-2. Junior Pragati Natraj made quick work of Nikki Christiansen on court six, earning the first point for TSU, 6-2, 6-2. Erin Allen of Belmont clinched the match for Belmont at No. 3, defeating freshman Morgan Cage 6-1, 6-2. However, Ani Popiashvili fought through an awe-inspiring match at No. 1 dominating Maria Plaksina, who struggled with her serves throughout the match, costing her many points, 6-2, 7-5.
The day closed with Abhilasha Vishwanath fighting to win the second set at No. 4, 6-4. Vishwanath entered the tiebreaker match with determination pushing point-for-point, eventually tieing it at 5s. Sarah Brackin began to break away, eventually winning the singles ponit, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.
Tennessee State drops to 13-9, 1-7 OVC while the Bruins improve to 7-13, 3-5 OVC.
Big Blue ends regular season play against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Currey Tennis Complex.
TENNESSEE STATE 2, Belmont 5
1. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) def. Maria Plaksina (BELW) 6-2, 7-5
2. Drew Hawkins (BELW) def. KAKKAR, Aarushi (TSUW) 6-2, 6-1
3. Erin Allen (BELW) def. CAGE, Morgan (TSUW) 6-1, 6-2
4. Sarah Brackin (BELW) def. VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) 6-4, 4-6, 10-8
5. Terra Sheldon (BELW) def. JONES, Ashia (TSUW) 6-1, 6-3
6. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. Nikki Christiansen (BELW) 6-2, 6-2
1. CAGE, Morgan/JONES, Ashia (TSUW) vs. Drew Hawkins/Erin Allen (BELW) 1-5, unfinished
2. Maria Plaksina/Terra Sheldon (BELW) def. NATRAJ, Pragati/POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) 6-2
3. Mical Johnson/Sarah Brackin (BELW) def. KAKKAR, Aarushi/VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,5,6,3,1,4)