CULLOWHEE, N.C. (April 11, 2023) – The ETSU women’s tennis team’s grip on the Southern Conference remained tight on Tuesday, as the Bucs completed a perfect 7-0 sweep of Western Carolina just over the mountain in Cullowhee.
The Bucs took both doubles matches with 6-3 wins in the top two flights, then went on to win all six singles matches in straight sets to finish the sweep. ETSU improved to 16-6 overall and remained perfect in league play at 6-0. Western Carolina falls to 13-8 overall and 1-4 in the SoCon.
The duo of Laylo Bakhodirova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and Mariya Shumeika (Minsk, Belarus) started things off with a 6-3 win on Court 1, then Maria Fernanda Carvajal (Queretaro, Mexico) and Daniela Rivera (Maturin, Venezuela) mimicked that result on Court 2 to clinch the point. WCU salvaged the point with a win on Court 3.
In singles, ETSU won nine of the 12 sets by three or more points in a fairly comfortable victory. This trend started with a 6-1, 6-3 win by Emilia Alfaro (Azul, Argentina) in the No. 3 spot, followed by a win by the same score on Court 6 by Yunuen Elizarraras (Cuernavaca, Mexico). ETSU clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-2 win on Court 5 by Ralitsa Alexandrova (Sofia, Bulgaria), as Alexandrova improved to an eight-match win streak.
After their doubles win, Rivera and Carvajal took care of business in singles for two more ETSU points. Both playing up a spot, Rivera won 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4 singles to extend her personal win streak to nine matches, while Carvajal won her third straight playing up at No. 2 singles, winning 6-4, 6-3.
With a sweep on the line, the final match of the day came between Bakhodirova and Isabella Sambola in the top flight. Bakhodirova handled business in the first set with a 6-1 win, followed by a tight 7-6 victory in the final set of the match. With the win, Bakhodirova continues to build her SoCon Player of the Year resume with a 16-3 overall record at No. 1 singles and a seven-match win streak.
Today’s win sets up a showdown with Furman on Saturday to determine the Southern Conference regular season champion and top seed in next week’s conference tournament. Saturday’s match is set for 11 a.m. in Greenville, S.C.
For the latest information on Buccaneer women’s tennis, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s tennis page.