Johnson City, Tenn. (Mar 8, 2003) - East Tennessee State's women's tennis team rallied back from an early deficit Saturday afternoon, but fell short in the end in losing to Winthrop 4-3 at the ETSU Tennis Center.
"We dropped the doubles point and we didn't start strong, but we played a very good team today," said Buccaneer head coach Steve Brooks. "They are consistantly in the national rankings and one of the top two teams in their conference."
ETSU's lone doubles win came at the No. 2 position, as Gemma Halim (Jakarta, Indonesia) and Jessica Irey (Clewiston, Fla.) were victorious over Renata Barreto and Renata Caceres, 8-6. Sylwia Ziolkowska (Warsaw, Poland) and Aimee Villavicencio (Lexington, Ky.) fell to Jenny Andrade and Ana Maria Simanca 8-4 at No. 1 and at No. 3 Courtney McInnis (Waterboro, Maine) and Jewel Aldea (Charleston, S.C.) were defeated 8-0 by Winthrop's Paula Takahashi and Danielle Moita.
The Buccaneers made up some ground in singles action, however. Thanks to some strong play at the top of the lineup, ETSU was able to make things interesting versus the Eagles (6-0) by garnering some key three-set matches.
"I'm very happy with the play from our top three singles players - they won some very tough matches," said Brooks. "I think heading into today's match, we were a little nervous, but that's expected from a young team."
The freshman phenom Ziolkowska defeated Barreto 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles match. At No. 2 singles, it was the sophomore Halim who was victorious over Andrade, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Irey then used a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 decision to oust Caceres at the No. 3 position.
The difference in the match for the Bucs ended up being three straight-set losses at the bottom of the lineup. McInnis fell to Takahashi 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4,Tatiana Arrianran (Cochabamba, Bolivia) lost her No. 5 singles match to the Eagles' Moita 6-2, 6-4, and Villavicencio was defeated by Simanca at the No. 6 slot, 6-2, 6-0.
The season doesn't get any easier for the Buccaneers, whose overall record falls to 8-4. ETSU will be at home for its Southern Conference opener Wednesday, Mar. 12, when the Bucs take on No. 62 Furman beginning at 2 p.m.
Wintrop 4, East Tennessee State 3
1.) Slywia Ziolkowska (ETSU) def. Renata Barreto (WU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
2.) Gemma Halim (ETSU) def. Jenny Andrade (WU), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
3.) Jessica Irey (ETSU) def. Renata Caceres (WU), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
4.) Paula Takahashi (WU) def. Courtney McInnis (WU), 6-2, 6-1
5.) Danielle Moita (WU) def. Tatiana Arriaran (ETSU), 6-2, 6-4
6.) Ana Maria Simanca (WU) def. Aimee Villavicencio (ETSU), 6-2, 6-0
1.) Andrade/simanca (WU) def. Ziolkowska/Villavicencio (ETSU), 8-4
2.) Halim/Irey (ETSU) def. Barreto/Caceres (WU), 8-6
3.) Takahashi/Moita (WU) def. McInnis/Aldea (WU), 8-0