By Kaitlyn Mullis
The Western Carolina women’s tennis team continued their early season at the 25th annual East Tennessee State University Fall Classic Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 20. The Lady Catamounts traveled to Johnson City, Tennessee for the weekend competition, which hosted a total of twenty-five teams and featured 300 matches over the course of two days.
Catamount freshman Layne Arnold opened her collegiate career with a win at the ETSU, placing first in the Black Bracket of the tournament. She faced Laura Bowman from Milligan College, defeating her 6-0, 6-0. She then defeated Natalie Walters King from Milligan College 6-0, 6-0 to reach the finals. Arnold won her bracket by defeating Tusculum College freshman Kristen Keefer 6-2, 6-0.
Also playing strong for the Catamounts was junior Amanda Massey, who placed third in the Grey Bracket. She opened the tournament by defeating Cumberland University’s Kelcey Bauer 6-1, 6-1. She then fell to Appalachian State’s Amanda Cash 6-1, 6-3, before bouncing back in the consolation bracket to take third.
Catamount’s excel on and off the court:
The women’s tennis team, coming off of a strong showing both on the court and in the classroom last semester, was one of 102 NCAA Division I teams to be named to the ITA All-Academic Team. As a team, the Catamount tennis players had a cumulative GPA of 3.385. In order to be considered on the All-Academic team, a club has to carry a collective average GPA of 3.2 or higher.
Additionally, Catamount tennis players Trish Hanson and Susanna Sjokvist received All-Academic honors from the ITA. It is the second straight year with the honor for both of the players.
The Catamounts, who finished 4-17 overall last semester, will look to brush up on their skills as they travel to Winston Salem, NC, on Oct. 23 for the ITA Southeast Regional Tournament, which will wrap up the Fall section of their season.
They will return to action in February, playing against conference members such as Appalachian State University, Wofford University, and Gardner-Webb University. The matches continue all season, leading up to the Southern Conference Tournament in late April.