Bucs head to Richmond for Saturday showdown
Bucs head to Richmond for Saturday showdown
Friday, February 17, 2023

ETSU women’s tennis faces VCU at 10 a.m.

RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 17, 2023) – Riding a four-match win streak, the ETSU women’s tennis team will look to add one more against a challenging VCU squad on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Richmond, Va.

ETSU is coming off two home wins last week — both sweeps — against Appalachian State and Davidson. The Bucs have a 6-3 overall record. Meanwhile, VCU enters with a 2-4 record, overcoming a four-match skid with back-to-back wins against Marshall and Norfolk State.



ETSU is led by top flight player Laylo Bakhodirova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) with a 7-2 record from the No. 1 singles spot. Bakhodirova is a two-time Southern Conference Player of the Week this season and rides a five match win streak.

Bakhodirova and teammate Mariya Shumeika (Minsk, Belarus) boast a 6-1 doubles record from the top flight. In singles, Shumeika plays from the No. 2 spot and has won her last three matches for a 4-4 record. Redshirt junior Maria Fernanda Carvajal (Queretaro, Mexico) rounds out the top three for ETSU with a 6-2 record, including a 6-1 mark from the No. 3 spot.

Sophomore Daniela Rivera (Maturin, Venezuela) is tied with Bakhodirova for the longest singles win streak on the team at five, entering with a 6-2 record. She and Carvajal have also won five straight doubles matches from the No. 2 spot and own a 7-2 record this season.

Grad transfer Ralitsa Alexandrova (Sofia, Bulgaria) will likely play the No. 5 spot for the Bucs, entering with a 3-3 record and three straight wins. She has teamed with Yunuen Elizarraras (Cuernavaca, Mexico) at No. 3 doubles for two matches this season, winning both last week. Elizarraras has a 5-3 singles record with three straight wins.



VCU opened the season with losses to Temple, Maryland, No. 5 Duke and SMU, but responded with back-to-back wins over Marshall and Norfolk State. The Rams won 4-3 at Marshall, while winning 7-0 at home against the Spartans.

The Rams have the current No. 58 ranked doubles duo in the country with sophomore Yelizaveta Karlova and freshman Victoria Matasova. The duo are 7-5 overall with a 1-4 dual record and a 6-1 tournament record. They won their last outing over Norfolk State’s No. 1 doubles pair 6-1.

Victoria Smirnova is the top singles player for VCU, entering with a perfect 3-0 singles record in the top flight. Smirnova is 10-2 overall when factoring in tournaments. She has won her last five matches, including a 6-0, 6-0 sweep in her last outing against Norfolk State.



Since 2014, ETSU and VCU have faced off six times. VCU has won five of the six, including each of the last four seasons. ETSU’s last win over the Rams came in 2018 — a 5-2 win in Richmond. In that last win, current assistant coach Andrea Pascual-Larrinaga won both her singles and doubles matches to aid the win.

In the last meeting, ETSU didn’t earn any points, but Carvajal was locked into an entertaining three-set battle with Gabriela Davidescu at No. 3 singles that went unfinished with a score of 4-6, 6-4, 3-4.



ETSU will have a long break from action after the VCU match, returning to the courts on Friday, March 3 to host Radford. First serve is set for 2 p.m. at the Dave Mullins Tennis Complex. 

For more information on Buccaneer women’s tennis, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s tennis page.