Women's Tennis Cruises on Senior Day

Photo by Justo Photography
Photo by Justo Photography

Written by Chris Pendleton

LEXINGTON, Va.—In only the second home tennis contest in Southern Virginia University history, the women's tennis team defeated Bluefield College 8-1 on Saturday's senior-day match snapping a three-game slide for the Knights.

Southern Virginia (8-4) began the morning by honoring its three seniors—Bethany Johnson (Alpine, Utah), Rachel Reid (Woodland, Utah) and Shelly Rowberry (Dacula, Ga.)—and then proceeded to take all three doubles matches from Bluefield and four of five singles matches. 

"It was a great day," said fourth-year head coach Deidra Dryden. "We were so excited to have a home match and have fans and come out to support our team." 

Dryden also explained that the hardest part of the day was the realization that she will be losing her three seniors, who have all been a part of Southern Virginia tennis history.

All three seniors played on last year's team that won a program-best 15 games, while finishing with the highest winning percentage (15-3; .833) of any intercollegiate team in Southern Virginia history.

Ra. Reid , who won her 31st singles match on Saturday at the No. 1 spot, will end her three-year career with the most intercollegiate singles wins in Southern Virginia women's tennis history. 

Johnson, who is the first four-year player in the program's six-year history, is not far behind her doubles partner Ra. Reid, recording her 29th career singles win against Bluefield. 

Johnson and Reid have also teamed as Sothern Virginia's No. 1 doubles pair over the past three seasons combining for 23 wins during that time—the most of any doubles team in Southern Virginia history.

"It feels good," said the pair in unison referring to their doubles record.

"I wish it wasn't my final [home] match," Johnson added. "I'm going to miss it."

Before the match, each senior honored a professor who had made a significant impact in her life at Southern Virginia.

Johnson, a family and childhood development major, honored Associate Professor of Family and Child Development Ariel Rodriguez.

Ra. Reid, a liberal arts major, honored Assistant Professor of Art Douglas Himes.

Rowberrry, a liberal arts major, honored Associate Professor of Chemistry Barbara van Kuiken.