Seahawks Rout Monarchs In Women's Tennis
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW women's tennis team didn't need the luck of the Irish to defeat Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion during a St. Patrick's Day match Saturday at the UNCW Tennis Complex. The all-important doubles point and five singles victories turned out to be just the pot o' gold the Seahawks were looking for in a 6-1 triumph over the Monarchs.
Winning in convincing fashion before local fans and an alumni crowd, the Seahawks improved to 7-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play on the sun-splashed courts. ODU, meanwhile, dropped to 9-4 and 2-2.
"I was very pleased with how we came out extremely focused," said 12th-year coach Jenny Garrity. "There was a concern that we could take the tough loss against Wake Forest into today, but we did a good job of focusing on the match at hand and doing what we needed to do to win the points.
"We didn't start off that well in doubles, but we fought through that. We just found a way to win and that's what good teams do...they just find a way. The tone we set early in the singles matches was really important to keeping our momentum, and that was the reason we were able to win five matches in straight sets."
UNCW grabbed a 1-0 lead after taking the doubles point with victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Senior Christina Lee and freshman Alyssa Ritchie were the first off the court after blasting ODU's Aleksandra Mitrovska and Juliana Pires, 8-3, at No. 2. Following a narrow loss at No. 1 doubles, the No. 3 tandem of Olga Blank and Casey Dashiell clinched the point by trimming Faith Atiso and Nika Khmolovska, 8-6.
The Seahawks then poured it on in singles, winning five matches without dropping a set. Junior Christina Riley ripped Atiso, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 6 singles to increase the score to 2-0 and Lee rolled past Mitrovska, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 2 to raise the lead to 3-1. Sophomore Kelly Cameron then clinched the match with an easy 6-2, 6-1, decision over Khmolovska.
Ritchie and sophomore Angie Sekely collected UNCW's other two singles victories. Ritchie breezed past Juliana Pires, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 5 singles and Sekely won her seventh straight match by beating Melissa Esnal Olguin, 7-6 (6), 6-3.
"We learned a lot from the Wake Forest match," said Dashiell, one of two seniors on the squad. "We knew what we had to do today and applied that well. We had to come out with fight and energy. It was important to come out and take a large lead. Our alumni, the men's team and the community really helped us as well."
The Seahawks conclude a four-game homestand Monday with a 2:30 match against Cornell at the UNCW Tennis Complex. UNCW then plays seven of its final eight contests away from home.