Redhawks exit OVC tennis tournament

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Southeast Missouri State women's tennis team saw its season come to an end Friday during the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

Southeast, making the program's first OVC tournament appearance under the current six-team format, lost to Eastern Illinois 4-1 at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tenn.

The Redhawks, the No. 6 seed, ended their first season under coach Mark Elliott with an 11-14 record.

Third-seeded Eastern Illinois (13-8) advanced to today's semifinals against second-seeded Murray State.

Southeast's only point Friday came from Kimmy Anderson at No. 6 singles. She won 6-0, 6-0.

Senior Luz Garcia at No. 3 and sophomore Julia Masotti at No. 4 were winning their matches when the contest was halted after Eastern Illinois clinched the team victory.

The Redhawks' No. 3 doubles team of Garcia and Anderson won 8-0, but the Panthers captured the doubles point.

Elliott said he was pleased overall with his rookie campaign at Southeast.

"I thought we made a lot of progress," he said.

Southeast's only two seniors were Garcia and Anderson, a Jackson High School graduate.

The Redhawks' other four players were underclassmen, including junior twin sisters Bryce and Drew Kristal at the top two singles positions.

Bryce Kristal had the Redhawks' top records at 17-7 overall and 8-2 in OVC play. She was voted second-team all-OVC and became the first Southeast player to receive any type of all-conference recognition since 1996.

"We have a good nucleus returning, but we have to recruit some good players to help out for next year," Elliott said.

Softball hits road

The Southeast softball team hopes to build on a three-game winning streak as the Redhawks attempt to climb back into the hunt for an OVC tournament berth.

Southeast (13-24, 5-12) plays a weekend series at Tennessee-Martin (23-25, 9-7), one of the squads the Redhawks are chasing in the OVC standings.

There will be a doubleheader today, starting at 1 p.m., and a 1 p.m. contest Sunday.

The Redhawks are ninth in the 10-team league, while the Skyhawks are fifth. Only the top six finishers qualify for the tournament, which Southeast has never failed to make.

Track athlete honored

Southeast sophomore Brandon Karcher has been named the OVC male track athlete of the week for his strong performance at last weekend's Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn.

Karcher placed fifth in the 10,000 meters with a season-best time of 30 minutes, 14.75 seconds that leads the OVC. Karcher also has the league's top time this season in the 5,000.

Southeast is competing this weekend in the Vanderbilt Invitational, which began Friday and concludes today.

-- From staff reports

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