First tennis matches show veteran leadership and rising freshmen


The JU Royal’s men’s and women’s teams launched their season Sept. 14th and 15th in a pair of challenging matches against Oakland City University and Brescia University.

Even though both matches resulted in losses, there were still constructive points to pull from them. The veteran players showed up to play, led the team, and pulled some wins.

The women’s team lost a close match to Oakland City, slipping 4-5. The lone doubles win came from doubles pair Hannah Ham (Jr.) and Annalise McDonald (So.) winning 8-6. Freshman, Iris Loveday, and Madison Buchanan (Jr.) dropped a close match 7-9. 

Returning players Buchanan, Danielle Keehner (Sr.), and McDonald pulled wins at the one, two, and three spots of the singles line up. However, the team overall was left just short of a victory.

The men’s team dropped 3-7 but had strong wins from Carson Byington (So.) and Michael Rhodenbaugh (Sr.) at the one and two spots. 

Freshman, Steven Damon closed out the match with his first win as a JU Royal. Damon was the only Freshman to pull a win, on his 18th birthday no less.

Saturday’s matches against Brescia proved more difficult, but there were still some highlights.

Doubles pair Ham and McDonald scraped another victory leaving them undefeated at the start of this season. Beyond that, McDonald went 4-0 during the course of the weekend, winning both singles and doubles matches.

The Royals are set to play Emory and Henry Sept. 29th.

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