LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- This past weekend, the Covenant women's tennis team, under the direction of second year head coach John Hirte, competed in the annual ITA regional individual and doubles tournaments hosted by Sewanee.
Covenant experienced succes with both returning upperclassmen and newcomers. Overall, the women nabbed seven victories, including a doubles tandem winning their draw.
"I was extremely pleased with the effort and level of play this weekend," said Hirte. "We gave it our all against some of the best teams in our region, and came away with not only some solid victories, but with greater higher confidence as we look ahead to the spring season."
Freshman Gracie Smith (Chattanooga, Tenn.), a local product from Chattanooga Christian, led the squad with three victories. She defeated Sewanee's Tilly Reeves 6-2, 6-1 and won a pair of doubles matches with partner and fellow freshman Claire Luger (Tampa, Fla.). Smith and Luger earned a pair of 8-5 victories over doubles teams from Agnes Scott and Berry.
Smith and Luger then had to match up with teammates Sarah Carter (Jr., Boca Raton, Fla.) and Madeline Hyatt (Sr., Marshville, N.C.). The more experienced Carter and Hyatt rallied for a 9-7 victory. Earlier, Carter and Hyatt won 8-4 over a doubles team from Sewanee to go 2-0 for the weekend.
Another doubles team of newcomers featured freshman Hannah Dunlap (Cartersville, Ga.) and sophomore Lindsay Geving (Colorado Springs, Colo.). This duo rallied from a 5-0 deficit to defeat a team from Mississippi College in their opening doubles match.
In singles play, Geving also won her opening round match against Hayley Thomas of Mississippi College 6-3, 6-0 before losing in a third-set match tiebreak to Emily Sirbaugh of Sewanee 7-6, 2-6, 10-7.
Covenant will look to build upon the success of the weekend's play in the spring. The program will also be boosted by the addition of six new on-campus tennis courts which are in the process of being constructed and scheduled to be finished in November.