Tennis team hopes to repeat at HBCU Championships

The Tenth Annual HBCU National Tennis Championships are underway and Florida A&M’s men and women squads are both in action.

The Rattlers joined their football counterparts in Atlanta this weekend and are competing against the likes of Morehouse, Prairie View A&M, Fort Valley State, Southern, Hampton, University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Xavier, Alcorn State, North Carolina Central, Winston-Salem State and Bethune-Cookman.

Last year, the Rattler men dominated the tournament accumulating 23 total points, eight more than No. 2 B-CU.

Michael Moore defeated teammate David Jackson in the A Flight singles match in 2009 and sophomore Takura Happy won the Flight C singles draw.

Moore said, after last year’s tournament, that while the team played well in singles competition, they hoped to improve in doubles. They got off to a good start this year winning two of their first three doubles matches.

Transfer Levan Clark made his debut on Thursday. Clark was a top-five player regionally at D-II powerhouse, Lander College in Greenwood, S.C., and finished last season 14-5.

The Lady Rattlers finished third at the 2009 HBCU Championships behind Hampton and Southern who placed second and first, respectively.

Junior Kathline Durden is coming off of a successful showing at the Thomasville Collegiate Invitational earlier this month where she finished third in singles. She had the best performance at the TCI and looks to build on that.

Her teammates got off to a fair start in Atlanta. Bethany Holt won her first singles match in the C group Thursday, while Latreece Olagbegi and Britney Dean defeated WSSU’s Bianka Locklear and Sloane Holmes in their first doubles match, 8-5.

The tournament is being held Thursday through Sunday at the South Fulton Tennis Center in College Park.

Final results from the tournament will be available in Monday’s edition of The Famuan.