Women’s Tennis Makes Program History, but Splits Weekend Matches

Over the past two years, consistency has escaped Boston College women’s tennis. The Eagles have failed to string together at least a pair of ACC matches since the 2014-15 season. But as soon as BC picked up its first-ever victory over Miami on Friday, it looked as if head coach Nigel Bentley’s group had a very good chance of ending that streak. After all, the Eagles were hosting Louisville on Sunday—a team that they defeated 6-1 last season.

Yet, for the third time this year, BC followed a conference victory with another loss. The Eagles won three singles matches, but without the doubles point, it wasn’t enough to edge the Cardinals, and BC fell 4-3.

Louisville (13-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) took the first two singles bouts, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Aleksandra Mally downed the Eagles’ (8-8, 3-5) Asiya Dair in two sets—the second of which Mally won 6-0. With the loss, Dair is now 1-5 in her last six matches. Soon after that, Mariana Humberg came back from one set down to outlast BC’s Lexi Borr in three sets.

Kylie Wilcox narrowed the Louisville advantage with a two-set sweep over Abbie Pahz. Immediately, the Cardinals responded. Elle Stokes defeated Dasha Possokhova, snapping the Eagles’ leading wins leader’s three-match winning streak. Meanwhile, Louisville cleaned up in the doubles department, as both Pahz and Humberg and Ariana Rodriguez and Stokes won their respective matches.

While the contest may have been out of reach, BC finished strong, tacking on two singles victories to close out play. Elene Tsokilauri joined Wilcox as the second Eagles freshman to record a win on the day, with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Olivia Boesing. Emily Safron tallied BC’s third and final point, defeating Tiffany Huber.

But it was the Eagles’ match on Friday that grabbed headlines.

Led by a trio of freshmen—Possokhova, Wilcox, and Tsokilauri—BC came away with five singles matches and the doubles point against Miami, earning its first win (6-1) over the Hurricanes in program history.

Right off the bat, the Eagles took the doubles point. The freshmen tandem of Possokhova and Wilcox defeated Maci Epstein and Dominika Paterova. But the No. 37 Hurricanes (4-8, 3-4) countered with a Ana Madcur and Estela Perez-Somarriba victory, forcing a third doubles match. Dair and Tsokilauri topped Sara Culbertson and Silvia Fuentes in a 14-point tiebreaker, giving BC a 1-0 match lead.

Possokhova extended the Eagles’ early advantage with a 6-4, 6-0 win versus Epstein. But seconds later, Miami swiped a singles point, as Perez-Somarriba put away Dair in two sets. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, that’s the only one they would record all day.

Borr notched another point with a win over Paterova and Wilcox proceed to secure the match, taking down Madcur. Tsokilauri and Safron added to BC’s point total by beating Culbertson and Fuentes, respectively.

Friday was the first time Miami fell to an opponent ranked outside of the top-50 since it lost to No. 73 Florida State in the ACC Championship quarterfinals in April 2015.

BC has shown that it can hang with any team in the nation. Still, it has yet to prove its ability to do so on a match-to-match basis. The Eagles have three more matches on their homestand to take another stab at tying together a few conference wins.

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

March 26, 2017

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