|Seahawk Netters Win Thriller Over JMU|
NORFOLK, Virginia - The Evan Clark era opened on a successful note for the UNCW women's tennis team in a 4-3 triumph over James Madison in a Colonial Athletic Association match between both teams Friday at Old Dominion's Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center.
The Seahawks wrap up a two-game weekend trip to Virginia on Saturday with a 5 p.m. match against William & Mary at the McCormack-Nagelson Tennis Center in Williamsburg.
In Friday's match, the Seahawks and Dukes hooked up in a tight one before 2012 CAA Co-Rookie of the Year Alyssa Ritchie outlasted JMU junior Jacqueline Palmucc for the decisive point. With the score tied at 3-all, Ritchie came from behind to win in a super tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5), clinching the match and giving Clark a memorable win in his debut.
After JMU won the doubles point to gain the early momentum, junior Angie Sekely evened the match with a 6-2, 6-1 pounding of Taylor Pinchoff at the top of the lineup. Kelly Cameron then gave UNCW a 2-1 edge by dispatching Michelle Nguyen, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 5 singles.
The Dukes tied the score at 2-2 when senior Katherine Bulling knocked off Olga Blank, 6-2, 7-5, but senior Christina Riley put the Seahawks back in front with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Ruxandra Andriescu at No. 3. Freshman Cara Wirth then send the match down to the final pairing when she outdueled fellow frosh Christine Kharkevitch of UNCW, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 6 slot.
"Alyssa really gutted it out and I'm proud of the way she competed and fought," said Clark. "It was our first match of the season, so there were a lot of nerves. We didn't play our best today, but I was pleased with the way we competed.
"JMU definitely made it tough on us and we were fortunate to get out of it with a win today. We look forward to playing William & Mary tomorrow."