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Lady Bisons set their sights on A-Sun tournament

Thursday, April 03, 2014
by Mark McGee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Each match victory adds to the best season record in the NCAA Division I era for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons tennis teams.

But at this stage of the season each win in Atlantic Sun matches improves the potential seeding for the Lady Bisons in the conference tournament. The Lady Bisons are 8-6 overall, 2-2 in the conference.

“It looks like we are going to be qualifying for the tournament,” Lipscomb coach Jamie Aid said. “We are trying to put ourselves in the best position possible.”

Friday at 4:30 the Lady Bisons will face Stetson, 13-5, 3-3 in the conference on campus at the Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center. The match has been moved to the afternoon due to concerns about extreme storm conditions Friday morning.

The match will be a clinch format. Both the doubles portion and the singles portion will end when it is impossible for one team to overcome the other.

Saturday FGCU visits for a 9 a.m. match. The Eagles will first stop at Northern Kentucky Friday. FGCU is 11-7 overall, 4-2 in the A-Sun. They are one victory short of the most wins in the history of their program in the NCAA Division I era.

“Both teams are very good,” Aid said. “They are solid teams. Both of them have had great records in the past. But both of them are winnable matches.

“However, we have to go in with the mentality that we are going to be fighting for every ball. There should be a lot of third sets. There should be tie-breakers. There should be fights across the board.”

The Lady Bisons are coming off a 7-0 loss at Samford in Birmingham, Ala., Wednesday. Aid was pleased with many aspects of the match even though the Lady Bisons were shut out.

“Samford was a good match,” Aid said. “They have a ranked program. Across the board we were there in terms of being able to compete at that level. Now we have to get to the next phase and position ourselves well for the tournament.

“It was a good day for our players to see where they are and who they are competing with now. In the past they haven’t ever felt like they were talented enough to compete on a national scale. It was good for them to see in terms of confidence.”

Aid thought several players performed well in their matches.

“Deahna Welcher and Jenny Borck played their best doubles of the year,” Aid said. “Melissa Kromer played her best singles.

“Melissa Kromer has been playing her best tennis the last three weeks. She has been playing amazing tennis. She and I had a discussion. She now knows why we are so challenging and demanding and have such expectations for her and the team.”

Aid wants her players to be in the right mindset where they know they can win, not just hope it might happen.

“Laura Kent was a great addition for us in January,” Aid said. “She has that mindset. Lorena Djuknic, who came to Lipscomb last January, has that mindset. They are neck-and-neck with each other in terms of wins.

“Our girls have bought into wanting to create a new part of Lipscomb tennis…wanting to write a new story. But it is hard. We have to get them to believe they can do it.”