APSU women’s tennis players Danielle Morris and Jana Leder named to OVC preseason Top 10, Governors picked to finish second

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Brentwood, TN – After winning their second straight Ohio Valley Conference Championship title, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s tennis team had two student-athletes named to the OVC’s Top 10 Women’s Players Rankings 2021.

Additionally, governors were expected to finish second in the league’s preseason poll, the conference announced Tuesday.




Senior Danielle Morris received her third career Top 10 ranking and was named the No. 4 player in the conference, while the redshirt sophomore Jana Leder received a fifth-place finish in his second straight selection.

Morris has been ranked on the OVC’s Top Ten Preseason Player Rankings every year she was eligible and continues her gradual climb up the list with the top four selections. She was the No. 5 player last season after receiving a No. 6 ranking ahead of her second campaign.

APSU Women's Tennis 2021-22 - Danielle Morris.  (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Morris is the third player to receive three or more pre-season Top 10 selections in a career under the head coach Ross Brownjoining former teammates Fabienne SchmidtLidia Yanes Garcia, Claudia Yanes Garcia in addition to Ornella Di Salvo.

A second-team All-OVC selection last season, Morris finished with a 9-5 singles record playing exclusively No. 2. After dropping her first two OVC singles matches, she won her last six matches in singles, including the championship-clinching game against Southeastern Missouri’s Daniela Hlacikova – the No. 3 selection in the preseason poll.

APSU Women's Tennis 2021-22 - Jana Leder.  (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)The Brisbane, Australia native went 12-3 in doubles, playing exclusively on the No. 1 line with a 12-2 record alongside former teammate, Schmidt. Morris also won two singles and doubles matches last season against players named in this year’s pre-season rankings.

After being named the 2021 Co-OVC Rookie of the Year and an All-OVC First Team selection, Leder enters this season as the No. 5 player in the conference, a two-point improvement from her seventh-place finish. in 2021.

Leder led the APSU Govs with 12 singles wins, exclusively playing the No. 3 position. After losing two of her first three singles matches to start the year, the Remchingen, Germany native has won 11 straight to finish the season and posted a perfect 8-0 singles record in OVC games.


APSU Women's Tennis 2021-22 - Aleks Topalovic.  (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)Leder finished the season 8-5 in doubles, going 7-4 alongside Alex Topalovic on the doubles court n°2. She finished with a combined 5-1 record against players in this season’s preseason rankings, including a 4-1 doubles record.

Morris and Leder’s selections in the preseason poll are the 20th and 21st times a government has received the honor in the past decade. Additionally, the duo are the 13th and 14th female tennis players to place in the poll’s top five under Brown.

APSU governors received a first-place vote in the poll voted by OVC head coaches and are ranked behind Southeast Missouri and above Belmont in the order of expected finish of the OVC. The Redhawks received five first-place votes and three top-10 selections, while the Bruins received two first-place votes and two preseason selections.

Austin Peay State University has already started its 2022 season and returns to action Feb. 19, kicking off a four-game road trip against Louisville at the Badd-Rudd Tennis Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

2022 OVC Women’s Tennis Expected Finish Order

  1. Southeast Missouri (5 first place votes) – 47
  2. Austin Peay (1 vote for first place) – 41
  3. Belmont (2 first place votes) – 37
  4. Murray State – 33
  5. EUIS – 26
  6. UT Martin – 18
  7. Eastern Illinois – 14
  8. Tennessee State – 7

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Ranking the top ten players of the 2022 OVC women’s tennis pre-season

  1. Romana Tarajova, Southeast Missouri
  2. Rachel Papavasilopoulos, Eastern Illinois
  3. Daniela Hlacikova, Southeast Missouri
  4. Danielle MorrisAustin Peay
  5. Jana LederAustin Peay
  6. Somer Henry, Belmont
  7. Stasya Sharapova, Murray State
  8. Sarah Office, State of Murray
  9. Myroslava Zelenchuk, Southeast Missouri
  10. Gina Feistel, Belmont
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