Sports, Spring, Women's Tennis

Women’s Tennis Upsets Miami, Tallies Third Straight Win

On March 22 against Florida State, Boston College women’s tennis found itself down, 3-0, but the team rallied to win three straight matches before Laura Lopez’s defeat to Andrea Garcia sealed the loss. But this time around against No. 27 Miami, the freshman pulled through. Pitted against Ana Madcur with the match tied, 3-3, the Spanish native rose to the occasion, defeating her opponent in straight sets and securing a 4-3 Eagles victory.

BC (14-7, 4-7 Atlantic Coast) started out on a positive note, winning the doubles point. Head coach Nigel Bentley continued to utilize Jackie Urbinati and Kylie Wilcox as his number one doubles team. The two displayed their blossoming chemistry, upsetting the No. 17 doubles pair in the country. Facing off against the Hurricanes’ (13-5, 6-4) Daniella Roldan and Daevenia Achong, Urbinati and Wilcox won quite handily, 6-2.

On the second court, however, the Eagles did not fare as well. Lopez and Elene Tsokilauri dropped their match to Estela Perez and Ulyana Shirokova, 6-2. Yufei Long returned from her absence last weekend to partner up with Natasha Irani at third doubles. Playing together for the first time, the two immediately clicked, prevailing over Yuna Ito and Macdur by the same score, 6-2, which clinched the first point of the match for BC.

Long played against Perez, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation for singles, on the first court. The Iowa transfer fell in the first set, 6-1, but she stormed back in the second frame, beating Perez, 6-3. Long couldn’t sustain her momentum, though, as she lost the final set, 6-2. Wilcox showed great perseverance while working at second singles. The junior sustained an injury early in the set, and she played most of the match with a cramp. Wilcox notched the first set against Achong, 6-2, but then she struggled in the second frame, losing, 6-4. In the deciding stanza, Wilcox fought through the pain, edging out Achong, 7-6, in the tiebreaker.

While Urbinati excelled in doubles, she could not find the same success in singles, getting swept by Ito, 6-0, 6-3. Irani picked up a victory shortly after Wilcox. The sophomore narrowly defeated Marzal Martinez in two close sets, 7-5, 7-6. Tsokilauri found herself in a battle against Ulyana Shirokova. She earned a victory in the first set, 7-5, but she eventually ran out of gas, dropping the last two sets, 6-1, 6-4, which tied the match at 3-3. It once again came down to Lopez on the final court to pull out the crucial victory. The freshman thrived under pressure, breezing by in the first set, 6-1. With both teams surrounding the court, Lopez gradually approached victory as she built a 6-5 lead. She then converted on the break point, resulting in a major win for BC.

“We played our hearts out today, I’m so proud of how hard our team competed,” Bentley said, per “Miami is such a great team and program, and we have a lot of respect for them. We have been focused on this match for a long time. I’m really happy for our players, they have worked so hard and really earned this win.”

It seems like the Eagles are coming into form at the perfect time. After its upset of then-No. 10 Syracuse, BC has largely failed to live up to the high expectations it set for itself early in the year. Prior to Friday afternoon, the Eagles had only amassed three ACC victories, often coming up short in pivotal matches against highly ranked opponents. Coming off two quality wins over Houston and Virginia Tech, BC successfully kept its winning streak alive with Saturday’s narrow decision over the Hurricanes.

Only three conferences foes—Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Duke—await the Eagles to finish the regular season. Should BC keep playing up to its current level, it has a strong shot of eclipsing its first-round defeat in the ACC Tournament last year and making a run deep into the postseason.   

Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Staff

April 6, 2019