BUENA VISTA, Va. Despite challenges that most tennis programs don't face, the Southern Virginia Women's Tennis team has performed at such a high level that the team just finished the most successful season in the short history of the program. The team has no place to call home, with the current tennis courts on campus not big enough to host collegiate matches. The team travels for every match in a season. The weather in southwest Virginia is not always conducive to outdoor tennis, meaning the team scrambles for games when it goes bad.
Even with these challenges, Head Coach Diedre Dryden has put together a collection of players that have competed well this season. Highlights for Dryden have been twins Rachael and Rebekah Reid. The freshmen duo have performed at a high level, with Rachael playing an overwhelming game as the #1 player. She went 11-6 in doubles and 12-5 in singles, all against the #1player from the opposition.
Her sister Rebekah also performed well for the Knights going 10-6 (doubles) and 11-6 (singles). Bethany Johnson added a strong game to the team to give Dryden a strong trio against their opponents. Johnson had a 10-6 record in doubles, and followed with a 7-8 record in singles competition.
Dryden is optimistic with the team as the Reid's and Johnson make for a core that the team will have for the next two years. Jennifer Jensen adds even more depth to the team. With a 9-7 doubles record, and the best singles record at 12-4, Jensen proved to be a player that will give the Knights another weapon.
Shelly Rowberry was another contributor to the team. Brynn Hansen went from a solid season in volleyball, and was able to add the needed depth for th Knights in getting wins over the sprinf opponents. Along with Esita Kini Kini and Brittany Gibbons, Dryden has a core that she feels will only get better, and will push the program to a strong regional presence in the tennis scene. SVU faired well against the NCAA D.III and NAIA programs in the area. With all of the players underclassmen, the future for the SVU tennis program is bright.