JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 13, 2012) – The ETSU women’s tennis team was forced to three sets in four of the six singles matches by Appalachian State on Saturday at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center, but pulled away with a tough 6-1 victory.
ETSU (12-10, 6-2 A-Sun) seniors Paula Jaime (Madrid, Spain) and Marine Wieliczko (Rouen, France) kept ETSU in control of the match with key second set victories after each dropped their respective firsts, while the Bucs’ young talent of Kelsey Williams (Sunbury, Australia) sealed the match at No. 5 singles by making up her first set deficit against Appalachian State’s (12-11, 5-5 SoCon) Kim-Lea Dinh 6-7, 6-2, 6-3.
“Appalachian State gave us a great battle today,” ETSU assistant coach Travis Sandlant said. “[Appalachian] threw everything but the kitchen sink at us, but our team fought hard all day and just wanted it more which helped us come out on top.”
ETSU began the day with a clean doubles run for the 10th time this season.
At No. 1, Jaime and Wieliczko paired up to improve their team doubles record to 9-2 with an 8-0 trouncing of Ellie Linsell and Jennifer Ansari. Sophomore Giulia Andreazza (Balneario Camboriu, Brazil) and freshman Jessica Brumit (Elizabethton, Tenn.) clinched the point for ETSU at No. 3 by defeating Blakeley Bean and Dinh 8-6. Seniors Karina Kedzo and Diana Navrostska (Lviv, Ukraine) wrapped up the doubles portion, taking down Gabriela Celi and Gisela Fernandez in a tiebreaker 9-8 (7-4).
The singles victories did not come as handily as five of the six matches were still on court over three hours after the day had started. The lone Buccaneer to finish early was Brumit, who dropped Appalachian’s wins leader, Gabby Gabriel, at No. 6 in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
With the remaining five singles matches all very tight, Jennifer Ansari put the Mountaineers back within one in the No. 2 match by getting past Andreazza 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. Navrostska then finished the final straight set match of the day with a 6-4, 7-5 defeat of Jessica Thaggard to put ETSU back ahead 3-1.
A point from victory, Williams completed her comeback against Dinh for the freshman’s fourth-consecutive win to improve her A-Sun record to 3-0 and ensure ETSU the victory.
After leading the third set 5-2 and watching Linsell storm all the way back to 5-5, Jaime and the Appalachian State junior each held serve to force a third set tiebreak. The breaker was completely one-sided as Jaime took every point to finish the match 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-0) and improve her team-leading overall singles record to 24-9.
Wieliczko put the day to rest with a dominating third set in her 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 win against Celi, moving the senior’s dual record above the .500 mark to 8-7.
The ETSU women’s tennis team concludes the regular season on Saturday with its Senior Day ceremonies to take place against USC Upstate at 2:30 p.m.
“We expect nothing less from USC Upstate tomorrow,” Sandlant added. “We’re hoping we can finish off the regular season with a win and earn the No. 2 seed along with the all-important first-round bye in the A-Sun Championships.”
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.