JOHNSON CITY TENN. (March 21, 2007) - The ETSU women's tennis team fell 4-3 to conference opponent Jacksonville University today in a match lasting almost 5 hours. The Lady Bucs now fall to 7-9 on the season and 2-1 in conference play, while the Dolphins improve to 14-5 and 6-1 in conference play.
ETSU had a battle on their hands right from the start. While looking strong in the No. 1 doubles position, Jacksonville took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and 3. Olya Batsula (Minsk, Belarus) and Masha Ilina (Kyiv, Ukriane) defeated Emese Sulyos and Lene Willi 8-4 in the No. 1 position. In the No. 3 slot Tara Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Vita Moskaliova (Minsk, Belarus) fell to Tatian Soldatova and Iva Jarresova 8-5, while Yevgeniya Supak (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Elena Volobueva (Barcelona, Spain) were defeated by Fernanda Carrero and Cristina Paiva-Flor 8-4 in the third slot.
In singles action it was Jacksonville that came out to a good start, and the Lady Bucs fought hard to come back and level matches in the top three positions at one set all. In the fifth and sixth positions Elena Volobueva and Vita Moskaliova took care of business. Moskaliova was the first off the court defeating Cristina Paiva-Flor 6-1, 6-2, while Volobueva cruised past Fernanda Carrero 6-2, 6-0.
Jacksonville leveled the match at 2-2 as Masha Ilina was defeated by Lene Willis 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3. They gained the lead when Olya Batsula fell to Tatiana Soldatova in a tight match at No. 3 6-2, 6-7, 6-3. The last two matches also went to three sets as both teams battled for the final two points. Sophomore Tara Byrne tied up the match at 3-3 with her win in the fourth slot against Iva Jaresova 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. The match came down to the wire at the No. 1 position and eventually freshman Yevgeniya Stupak lost her struggle to Emese Sulyos 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.
"I don't want to take anything away from Jacksonville, they played an outstanding match and they were ready to play today. Our fight was there, but our mentality was not," said head coach Steve Brooks. "Overall it was the worst match we have played this season, we weren't making shots we routinely make, but on the positive we still had a lot of fight. I am very happy with Vita's win today, this will be good for her confidence, as will Elena's solid win. We have four weeks now until the conference tournament to get things right and both the team and I believe that we will. With all the tough matches we have played this year we know we can, we just have to get back to work."
The Lady Bucs will travel to Buies Creek, N.C. to face their next conference opponent Campbell at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 21.
No. 1- Batsula/Ilina (ETSU) def. Sulyos/Willi (JU) 8-4
No. 2- Soldatova/Jaresova (JU) def. Stupak/Volobueva (ETSU) 8-4
No. 3- Carrero/Paira-Flor (JU) def. Byrne/Moskaliova (ETSU) 8-5
No. 1- Emese Sulyos (JU) def. Yevgeniya Stupak (ETSU) 6-1, 4-6, 7-5
No. 2- Lena Willi (JU) def. Masha Ilina (ETSU) 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3
No. 3- Tatian Soldatova (JU) def. Olya Batsula (ETSU) 6-2, 6-7, 6-3
No. 4- Tara Byrne (ETSU) def. Iva Jaresova (JU) 5-7, 6-2, -5
No. 5- Elena Volobueva (ETSU) def. Fernanda Carrero (JU) 6-2, 6-0
No. 6- Vita Moskaliova (ETSU) def. Paiva-Flor (JU) 6-1, 6-1