Furman Tennis Starts Short Fall Season

By Carter Hunt, Staff Writer

Junior Blair Martin smashes a serve during this weeknd’s Furman Fall Classic.  Photo courtesy of Jake Crouse
Junior Blair Martin smashes a serve during this weeknd’s Furman Fall Classic.
Photo courtesy of Jake Crouse

After a slow start to the 2015 fall season, the Furman Women’s Tennis team came back with a strong showing at the Fall Furman Classic this weekend.

On Friday, junior Karlee Bryde and sophomore Harper Caswell teamed up to open the tournament with a second place finish in the doubles bracket, including a win over one of Clemson’s doubles teams.

Saturday started off on a similarly promising note, with three of four Paladins winning their round one matchups against the Iowa Hawkeyes. However,  junior Ansley Speaks and  freshman Katarina Weymouth both fell in the second round.

Bryde was able to finish the Furman Fall Classic with a strong two-set win over University of South Carolina’s Alison Mills. Bryde was the only Paladin to finish the classic with a win in the second round, but all in all the Paladins performed well at their home tournament.

Despite the strong turnout at the tournament, the team did not fare well in its previous competitions. At the Elon Invitational, the Paladins were blanked in their singles matches and the doubles team of Caswell and Bryde took the lone win before losing in the second round.

Showing signs of life at the Duke Fab Four Invitational, Speaks and Weymouth were able to take singles victories and teamed up for a doubles win. This success translated over to their home court advantage at the Furman Fall Classic.

The team has no more tournaments for nearly half a month, but it hopes to keep its momentum as it pushes forwards to the ITA Carolina Regional Oct. 22 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

After dropping to East Tennessee State University in the 2015 SoCon championship, Furman Men’s Tennis is back on the court and looking to avenge its loss with a fairly strong start in its first two tournaments.

Most recently, junior Adam Steryous and sophomore Josh Pistorius claimed the flight one and flight three championships respectively at the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Invitational (Sept. 18-19).

Steryous defeated Dayton’s Simon Jayaram and Northern Kentucky’s Mate Virag to reach the all-Furman finals match. Pitted against his teammate Matt Browne, Steryous won in a third-set tie break 10-6. Both Browne and Steryous are expected to play major roles for the Paladins this season.

Much like his brother, freshman Alex Steryous won his opening round match at the USC Upstate Fall Classic, where the Paladins began their season Sept. 11-13.

Sophomore Galen Arney also won his opening round match at the tournament, but both Arney and Steryous dropped in their second round matches.

In doubles play, the duo of Alex Steryous and sophomore Stefan Rhodes teamed up and won three matches, including the consolation championship.

Furman’s next match will be Oct. 2-4 when the Paladins will travel to Belton, S.C. for the Belton Invitational.

The team is hoping to establish its younger players before the ITA Carolinas Invitational Oct. 16-20, the peak of its fall season.

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