Furman Women Favored in SoCon Tennis

Championship at Champions Cub

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

On Tuesday, the Furman women’s tennis team took home important Southern Conference hardware – Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year honors.

But what the Paladins dearly want is to put their collective hands on the team championship trophy Saturday afternoon at the Champions Club courts.

The Paladins’ Debbie Southern is coach of the year and Ansley Speaks captured freshman and player of the year honors.

Furman has the No.1 seed, a 9-0 SoCon record, and is the solid favorite to win, but seeds 2-4  Samford, Chattanooga and Elon hope to have a voice, maybe a loud voice, in who wins on Saturday.

If You Are Going

SoCon Tennis Tournament:

Place: Champions Club in Rivermont

Wed-Sat.

Admission: Free

Go to SoCon.com for men’s and women’s brackets and results

Wednesday Schedule

Men’s Matches – both at 11 a.m. (new time from original schedule)

No.8 Davidson vs. No.9 UTC … No 7 Wofford vs. No.10 The Citadel

Women’s Matches - both at 3 p.m. (new time)

No. 8 Davidson vs. No.9 Wofford

No.7 App State vs. No.10 Western Carolina

Thursday – Quarters … Friday – Semis … Saturday - Finals

 

Preview of Top Four Women’s Seeds

No.1 Seed - Furman (16-5, 9-0) - beat No.2 Samford, No.3 Chattanooga and No.4 Elon, all 4-3

Led by Ansley Speaks – 2014 Freshman of the Year, 2014 Player of the Year …

Coach – Debbie Southern (30th season - 451 wins) ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame

Team: Speaks (15-5 in singles) is one of three starting freshmen and is joined by doubles players Katherine Oudin/Alex Moreno-Kaste on the SoCon first team … Speaks, Karlee Bryde and Blair Martin made the SoCon All-Freshman Team … Katherine Oudin is younger sister of Melanie Oudin who reached the U.S. Open quarters in 2009 and was U.S. Open mixed doubles champ ... the Oudin’s are relatives of the late Frank Willett who was a standout tennis player at Ga. Tech in the 1940s, moved to Chattanooga in late 1950s and was a top adult player throughout the South … 

SoCon Titles – 16 … last won it in 2008 …

No.2 Seed - Samford (18-2, 8-1) … comes in with 7 match win streak and 16 of last 17 … loss was at Furman … only other loss was to Auburn … beat UTC (4-3) and Elon (5-2)

Top Players - Stephanie N’tcha is first team All-SoCon singles and doubles (w/Kristen Lewis)

No.6 singles Lauren Caballero (12-4 in singles this spring) led Ravenwood (Tenn.) to a pair of D-I AAA state titles and she won two doubles state crowns

SoCon Titles - None

No.3 Seed - Chattanooga (17-4, 7-2) … 10-0 at home this season … and 13 straight over two years … last loss at home was to Furman (4-3), March 24, 2013 … 29-3 at home last three years … has first team All-SoCon players in Kayla Jones (singles) and Kaylene Chadwell/Alexa Flynn (doubles) …  senior Flynn has 74 career singles wins and 73 in doubles … Chadwell (Tenn.) and Kelsey Coots (Ala.) were prep state champions … Mocs beat Elon, 4-3, and lost to Samford and Furman, 4-3, both matches on the road.

Coach – Jeff Clark  (10th year; 130-93)   took team to SoCon semis in 2012 …

SoCon Titles – 5 (1984-85-86-88-90) … UTC won the inaugural SoCon title 30 years ago in 1984 … and claimed 5 of the first 7 … last title came in 1990

No.4 Seed – Elon (12-8, 6-3) … 8-1 at home … lost 4-3 to Furman …

Sr. Jordan Johnston is first team All-SoCon … has win over SoCon player of the year, Ansley Speaks …

In 2013… Elon beat Furman, 4-0, in semis and lost to College of Charleston in final ... No.4 Elon and No.1 Furman are in the top half bracket and should meet in Friday’s semis.

SoCon Titles - 0

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


Lee Softball Falls To West Florida

West Florida opened up a six run lead and held on for a 6-3 victory over the Lee softball team to avoid the series sweep on Saturday afternoon on a brisk day at Butler Field. Lee took the first two games of the series in a doubleheader sweep yesterday. The Lady Flames are now 7-4 overall and 2-1 in the Gulf South Conference. The Argonauts improve to 7-3 and are 1-2 in league ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Cougars Split With Gordon State

The Cougars of Cleveland State split their double header this afternoon at Gordon State College. Cleveland State (4-2) lost game one 7-6, but took the rubber match 6-2 winning the series.  "We let game one slip away," said head Coach Mike Polilcastro.  "Our goal was to win the series and we battled all weekend coming back from deficits in winning two games." ... (click for more)

Texas Man Charged With Cutting Hole In Charleston Piggly Wiggly; Removing Heavy Safe

Warrants charging a Texas man with the Jan. 25 burglary of the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store in Charleston, Tn., have been issued in Bradley County. Through a forensic examination of items that are connected to the burglary, Christopher Lee Chambers, 29, of Mabank, Tex., was identified as a suspect in the burglary and is named on warrants charging him with burglary and theft ... (click for more)

Couple In Small Plane Make Emergency Landing On Highway 27 North Of Dayton

Tom Webb and his fiancée were traveling from Pigeon Forge to Winchester when, at 5,500 feet, they experienced engine trouble. They lost their engine and had to make an emergency landing on Highway 27 north of Dayton. They landed safely and were able to push the plane off the road with help from the Rhea County Sheriff's Department. The incident happened around 7 p.m. on ... (click for more)

Alexander And Corker Need To Talk Sense To Their Leadership

Alexander and Corker really need to talk some sense to their leadership  So a Supreme Court Justice dies and before the POTUS can even come up with a list of replacements, Mitch McConnell states the Republican Senate will not seat Obama's replacement. Why? Because they want to throw a hissy fit.  For 240 years the Senate has done their constitutional duty and has ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Evaluators Earn $11.70

A number of curious job notices, under the heading of ‘General Labor,’ have appeared on various Craigslists, that free Internet portal where you can find everything from a used lawn tractor, guitar lessons or even a saucy Saturday night date. This week on the Charlotte, N.C., Craigslist, for example, there appeared an offer to become a “reader/evaluator” for a company known as Measurement ... (click for more)