HONOLULU (Jan. 13, 2023) – A much-anticipated winter trip to Hawaii was a successful one for ETSU women’s tennis, as the Bucs opened the 2023 spring season with wins over the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific on Thursday and Friday in Honolulu.
The Bucs start with a 2-0 dual record for the first time since 2016, winning a pair of 5-2 matches over Hawaii on Thursday and Hawaii Pacific on Friday.
Match 1: ETSU 5, Hawaii 2
ETSU opened the season with four singles wins and two doubles wins en route to a 5-2 victory over the Rainbow Warriors.
The first doubles win of the season came in a 6-0 sweep by Maria Fernanda Carvajal (Queretaro, Mexico) and Daniela Rivera (Maturin, Venezuela) at the No. 2 spot.
Hawaii pulled back even with a win in the third flight, but Laylo Bakhodirova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and Mariya Shumeika (Minsk, Belarus) won 6-3 in the top flight to secure the doubles point.
With the 1-0 advantage, ETSU proceeded to win the top three flights and the No. 6 spot for the match victory. Yunuen Elizarraras (Cuernavaca, Mexico) was the first to finish at No. 6 with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Alexis Merrill.
Bakhodirova, Shumeika and Carvajal won their respective matches in the 1-3 spots, starting with Carvajal’s 7-5, 6-3 win in the third flight to make the match 3-1. Hawaii’s Madison Kim pulled her team back within one with a fourth flight win, but ETSU’s top pair finished things off as Bakhodirova won 6-4, 6-3 and Shumeika won a 6-4, 7-6 (7) thriller.
Match 2: ETSU 5, Hawaii Pacific 2
ETSU had much of the same luck in the second match of the trip, starting with a win in the doubles point before winning four singles matches despite using just five players for singles.
The top two doubles teams for ETSU collected wins once again with Bakhodirova and Shumeika winning first by a 6-3 final. Hawaii Pacific tied things up in the No. 3 slot, but a 6-4 win by Carvajal and Rivera put the Bucs on the board.
With Hawaii Pacific earning the No. 6 point by a scratch, the Bucs continued on and took back the lead for with a 6-2, 6-3 win by Bakhodirova in the top flight and a 6-3, 6-0 win by Elizarraras playing up at the No. 5 spot. The other three singles matches were three-set battles, as HPU pulled back within a point by winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the No. 2 spot.
ETSU finished off the match with a come-from-behind clincher by Carvajal, who defeated Abigail Wild by a 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 final in the No. 3 spot. Rivera added a tally from the No. 4 seed, finishing the match and the trip with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory.
Coming Up Next
ETSU will play its next match closer to home with a short road trip to Lexington to face Kentucky. First serve is set for next Friday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m.
The Bucs will play the next five matches on the road with stops at Kentucky, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Lipscomb and Belmont. The home opener in Bristol is set for Feb. 9 against Appalachian State.
For more information on Buccaneer women’s tennis, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s tennis page.