Bisons ruin Reddies’ title hopes

HSU Tennis falls to Harding in semifinal round of GAC tourney

Bisons ruin Reddies’ title hopes

Donovan Lee, Sports Editor / HTV Station Manager

BENTONVILLE, AR— The ladies of Reddies Tennis packed their gear and headed to northwest Arkansas to compete in the 2021 edition of the GAC tournament. Coming off a sweep of Oklahoma Baptist, the five-seed HSU met four-seed SAU in the quarterfinal round.

For the third time this season, the Reddies and Muleriders battled it out on the clay. With the series split at one game apiece, it was only right that the one for all the marbles be in the conference tournament. The defending champion Muleriders were blindsided by the remarkable play of Henderson State and were eliminated from title contention in a 4-0 defeat.

After collecting their first postseason win in four years and their second one in the GAC era, HSU advanced to face the top-seeded Harding Bisons, who entered the postseason undefeated against conference foes and holding a 5-2 victory over the Reddies during the regular season.

Because the matches are only played up to the point when a team clinches the win, the duo of Franny Nyarko and Mulan Kamoe were unable to get the Reddies on the board before the Bisons claimed four wins in the match over HSU, ending the Reddies season at the quarterfinal round.

Despite the defeat, the doubles duo of Nyarko/Kamoe, along with Georjema Row, were named to the All-GAC teams for 2021. Kamoe is the fourth Reddie in four years to be named to All-GAC First Team. Both Nyarko and Row were selected as members of the Second Team after their performances this season. The Reddies finished the season with a 5-7 record, going 2-4 in conference play, and winning their first playoff match since 2017.

After 28 years, HSU Tennis head coach and cross country coach Brenda Joiner announced her retirement from the Reddie Athletics program. She served in the program for 28 years. Plans to commemorate her career are being discussed and planned for this Fall.