ATLANTA--After nearly a month away from its home courts, the No. 50-ranked Georgia State women's tennis team returns to the Sharon Lester Tennis Center at Piedmont Park to take on Samford Tuesday at 2 p.m.
GSU (5-4) will look to get back on the winning track against a Bulldogs team that is a perfect 8-0 on the year. Georgia State returns to play after four straight road matches, while Samford will be playing its first road match of the season.
The Panthers suffered narrow defeats last week as part of a four-match road trip to Wilmington, N.C., and then to California. GSU fell at UNC Wilmington, 4-3, for its first loss in school history to the Seahawks. The team followed that by battling to a close defeat at No. 43 Sacramento State before winning convincingly, 6-1, at UC Santa Barbara. The Panthers closed the road trip with a tough 4-3 loss at Fresno State.
Leading the Panthers will be sophomore Abigail Tere-Apisah, who will be looking for her 10th singles victory of the season on Tuesday. The Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, native is the No. 54-ranked player in the latest ITA Women's National Singles Rankings released on Feb. 28. She is coming off a week in which she defeated the No. 42-ranked singles player in Fresno State's Marianne Jodoin. Tere-Apisah took a 6-3, 6-4 win vs. Jodoin for her third victory over a ranked opponent this season.
Also starring this season for Georgia State has been the doubles tandem of freshman Masa Grgan and junior Martina Ondrackova. The two own a 6-3 record on the year, with their only losses coming by two-point margins. The pair began the season with a five-match winning streak.
Tuesday's expected matchup of Tere-Apisah and Samford sophomore Kristin Lewis at No. 1 singles will be a rematch from fall play when Samford took part in the Southern Shootout in Conyers, Ga., on Sept. 23-25. Tere-Apisah defeated Lewis, who owns a 7-1 record at No. 1 singles this year, 6-4, 6-3 in that match.
The GSU-Samford series is one of the longest-running series in Georgia State women's tennis history. The teams have met 20 times with GSU leading the all-time series 14-6. GSU has lost by more than one point just once, 5-2 in 2008, in the series that dates back to the 1988 season. The Panthers have won the last three meetings since that 2008 loss.
Fifth-year head coach Miha Lisac will be looking for his 50th career victory on Tuesday against Samford. In four-plus seasons at the helm of the GSU women's tennis program, Lisac owns a career mark of 49-35.
Entrance to all Georgia State matches at the Sharon Lester Tennis Center is free for all fans. Visit the women's tennis page on www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for links to live stats and a live blog to follow all the action on Tuesday. Visit the page following the match for a full recap and a box score of Tuesday's match.