Middle Tennessee returns to courts in Sun Belt action this weekend

Blue Raider women's tennis heads to Arkansas

February 18, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee women's tennis team will return to action following a near two-week hiatus at 6:45 p.m. Friday as it opens Sun Belt action at Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark. The team will stay in the Natural State to face UALR in Little Rock at 8 a.m. Sunday.

The Blue Raiders, off to a 3-0 start in 2010, last competed February 6 in a 6-1 win over UT-Martin. Middle Tennessee has earned 6-1 victories in each of the opening three matches, which also included non-conference triumphs against Belmont and Chattanooga.

Five of the seven players who have participated in singles matches own undefeated 3-0 records, including Carla Nava and Natalie Araya at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively. Araya for her tremendous start was chosen as the February 10 Sun Belt Athlete of the Week becoming the first Blue Raider to garner the award since 2006.

All three doubles pairings are also 3-0 thus far. Araya has teamed with Marietta Bigus to form Middle Tennessee's top tandem.

Arkansas State brings a 1-3 record into Friday's match, but the Red Wolves have dropped three straight after opening the campaign with a 4-3 win against Sam Houston State. Senior Rone van Wyk was tabbed this week's Sun Belt Athlete of the Week.

UALR is 5-4 on the season, including matchups against No. 36 Tulsa and No. 56 Nebraska. The Trojans defeated UA-Fort Smith in their last outing, Tuesday, 5-2. Fanny Lopez leads the squad with a 7-2 record, including a 6-2 ledger at the No. 5 singles spot.

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