GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The 40th-ranked Furman women's tennis team looks to extend its 15-match winning streak when it returns to Southern Conference play this weekend. The Paladins will entertain Mercer Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Mickel Tennis Center then travel to Spartanburg on Saturday for a noon match up at Wofford.
Furman holds an 18-1 overall record and 2-0 SoCon mark after scoring recent nonconference victories over Winthrop, Brown, and Brenau. The Paladins are led by junior Katarina Kozarov, who ranks 88th nationally and holds a 13-3 record at flight one singles. Kozarov and rookie Julia Adams are ranked 40th nationally in doubles. The Paladin duo sports an 11-1 mark at flight one this season after beating the 31st-ranked team recently at Winthrop.
Mercer enters Friday's match at 10-8 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Bears dropped a 4-3 decision at Samford last week but beat UNCG and Western Carolina, both 5-2, to open the SoCon season. The match marks the fifth meeting between the two teams. The Paladins defeated the Bears, 6-1, in Mercer last season to take a 4-0 lead in the series.
Wofford is 10-5 overall and 2-1 in the SoCon. The Terriers defeated Chattanooga, 5-2, in Spartanburg last weekend, after falling to East Tennessee State, 6-1, on Thursday. Wofford also beat UNC Greensboro, 4-3, earlier in March. Furman holds a 28-0 series advantage after topping Wofford, 7-0, last season in Greenville.
The winner of Saturday's match will be awarded the yearly Pinson Cup by Bobby and Dixie Pinson, beloved friends of both the Furman and Wofford programs. The couple has given a beautiful trophy and a generous donation in honor of this rivalry. The trophy stays with the winning school until the winner of the next season's match is determined. Furman has been awarded the trophy each year since 2005.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information