WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Jan. 22, 2005) - The East Tennessee State women's tennis team fell in their season opener to Richmond, Saturday afternoon by a score of 4-3 in Williamsburg, Va. on the campus of William & Mary.
"Richmond is a good team," stated head coach Steve Brooks. "They won the Atlantic 10 and went to the NCAA's last year and returns the core of their team from last season."
ETSU's No. 2 doubles team won the first match in competition. Junior Sandie Knight (Adamstown, Australia) and freshman Elena Volobueva (Barcelona, Spain) combined for the 8-4 win over Courtney Klein and Robin Carter at the No. 2 slot. Richmond would tie up the battle for the crucial doubles point with a win at the No. 3 slot. At No. 1, Mariya Ilyina (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Sylwia Ziolkowska (Warsaw, Poland) battled against Lindsay Cox and Beatrice Grasu, but lost 9-8 (6) to give Richmond the early lead at 1-0.
In singles, the Bucs earned two points with a pair of wins. Ziolkowska defeated Klein 6-2, 6-0 at No.3 and Knight defeated Grasu 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5. Jelena Zivanovic tied it up for Richmond with a 6-4, 6-2 win over ETSU freshman Muriel Sherwood (Atlanta, Ga.).
Sophomore Ilina then gave the Bucs their second advantage in the match at 3-2 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Carter at the No. 2 position. However, Richmond would tie it up again with a win by Cox at No. 1 over Volobueva 6-4, 6-4.
The deciding point would then fall too freshman Olya Batsula (Minsk, Belarus), who was competing in her first match for ETSU.
"I was really impressed with Olya's play today," commented Brooks. "She was down 4-1 in the third set when she asked me what the team score was. When she found out that her match was the deciding match she won the next two games, but lost her third set 6-4."
The Bucs are scheduled to continue their action in Williamsburg, Va. as they will face host William & Mary Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.
Richmond 4, ETSU 3
1. Lindsay Cox/Beatrice Grasu (Richmond)NE #15 def. Sylwia Ziolkowska/Masha Ilyina (ETSU) 9-8 (6)
2. Sandie Knight/Elena Volobueva (ETSU) def. Courtney Klein/Robin Carter (Richmond) 8-4
3. Meghan Wolfgram/Jelena Zivanovic (Richmond) def. Gemma Halim/Olya Batsula (ETSU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2,3,1
1. Cox (Richmond)NE #19 def. Volobueva (ETSU) 6-4, 6-4
2. Ilina (ETSU) def.Carter (Richmond) 7-5, 6-3
3. Ziolkowska (ETSU) def. Klein (Richmond) 6-2, 6-0
4. Wolfgram (Richmond) def. Batsula (ETSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
5. Knight (ETSU) def. Grasu (Richmond)NE #30 6-2, 6-3
6. Zivanovic (Richmond) def. Sherwood (ETSU) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6, 2, 1, 4*
NE- denotes Northeast regional ranking