Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University men's and women's tennis programs are hosting Bluefield College for a doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 7 on the Washington and Lee University outdoor tennis courts in Lexington, Va.
Tomorrow's match will count as a home competition for the Knights marking only the second time either program's six-year history that Southern Virginia will host a tennis event.
"We are absolutely thrilled to play the second home match in our program's history," said fourth-year head coach Deidra Dryden. "Our scholar-athletes have done a tremendous job juggling academics and athletics over the past six years—they have worked so hard and traveled so far that it will be very rewarding to see them compete in front of their professors and peers."
Both the men's and women's tennis teams are in the midst of outstanding seasons and seniors from both teams—Shaolin Chandam, Phillip Whiteley, Bethany Johnson, Rachel Reid and Shelly Rowberry—will be honored before Saturday's match.
After going 15-3 last season and tying the 1998 and 1999 women's soccer teams for the best single-season winning percentage (.883) of any intercollegiate athletic team in Southern Virginia history, women's tennis is having another banner year under Dryden as the Knights are off to a 7-3 start so far this season heading into today's match with Hollins University.
Meanwhile, men's tennis is off to its best start ever winning is its first eight matches this season before suffering a loss at Randolph-Macon College on Mar. 27. Southern Virginia (10-1) bounced back from its only defeat of the season by taking its next to matches 9-0 and 8-1.
Having won two straight heading into Satruday's match with Bluefield, men's tennis has now reached double-digit wins for the second consecutive season—the first two such seasons in the program's five-year history.
The Knights' initial double-digit winning season came last year when men's tennis won a program-best 12 games. With five matches still remaining this season, Southern Virginia has a chance to exceed last year's win total and complete the most successful men's tennis season in school history.
"Tommorrow will be a great measuring stick for us," said fourth-year men's tennis head coach Tony Caputo. "We won a very close match at Bluefield to begin the season and tomorrow will help us see how far we have come since September."
Come support the Knights in their only home match of the season on the upper courts of Washington and Lee's outdoor facility. Directions to the campus and courts can be found at wlu.edu.
Senior recognition will begin at 9:45 a.m. followed by doubles play at 10 a.m.