The UAlbany women’s tennis team bounced back from their loss to Stony Brook with a convincing win over Patriot League opponent Lehigh 6-1 in Bethlehem, PA. The Danes swept the doubles for the fifth time in nine dual matches, then won four of their five singles victories in straight sets as they bumped their record to 6-3 on the season.
The Danes’ #1 tandem, Rocio Lopez-Livia Gherman started things off by taking a close match and sprinting away to an 8-4 win. Sarah Iannone-Aubrey Brooks took care of #3 doubles to clinch the doubles point, 8-5, and ran their team-leading doubles record to 7-2. Freshmen Cheryl Kukkonen and Kirsten Scott salvaged the doubles sweep by coming from behind to win 9-7.
In singles, Lopez made short work of her #1 counterpart, 6-0,6-0 to record the first singles win for the Danes. The Madrid, Spain lefty was in total control of her left-handed opponent, moving her out of position then finishing her off with crisp groundies or volleys. Finishing only two points after Lopez, Scott had her usual quick match, winning 6-0, 6-1 at #2. The Calgary, Alberta native upped her spring record to a team-leading 8-1.
Kukkonen played some solid singles at #4 setting up numerous net-attaching opportunities with good depth on her groundies. The Toronto area freshman overcame a tight second set start to win the last four games of her match, clinching the victory for the Danes, 6-3,6-2. At # 3, Gherman got her opponent’s hopes up as she dropped the first set at love. Then the grad student from Romania broke her oppoent’s heart with a 6-2,6-2 pasting in the next two sets to capture the #3 spot. Brooks, the Connecticut senior, didn’t let her heavy head cold, or the rush to get home for the Oscars, get in the way of her focus as she rolled to a quick victory, 6-2,6-1 giving the Danes their sixth point. At #5, Iannone played a solid first set, winning 6-3. But her opponent rebounded to win the second and force a 10 pt. tiebreak in lieu of a third set. The Vancouver, BC junior fought back from 8-5 down in the tiebreaker to even it 8-8, only to see the Mountain Hawk win the next two points to get the home team their only point of the day.
The Danes compete next against Fairfield University on Sat., March 3, 7pm at Solaris Racket Club in Stamford, CT. Then, in their last match before they head to spring break in Florida, they take on a tough Army squad at Sportime in Schenectady on Thursday, March 8, 1pm.
UALBANY 6 LEHIGH 1
1. Lopez-Gherman (UA) def. Bilimoria-Piscitelli (L) 8-4
2. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) def. Farrell-Larkin (L) 9-7
3. Iannone-Brooks (UA) def. Drucker-Bruch (S) 8-5*
Order of finish: 1,3,2.
*Doubles point clincher.
1. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Jenai Bilimoria (L) 6-0,6-0
2. Kirsten Scott (UA) def. Abby Farrell (L) 6-0, 6-1
3. Livia Gherman (UA) def. Liz Piscitelli (L) 0-6,6-2,6-2
4. Cheryl Kukkonen (UA) def. Kathleen Larkin (L) 6-3,6-2 $
5. Gabby Drucker (L) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 3-6,6-2,1-0 (8)
6. Aubrey Brooks (UA) def. Jill Sloand (L) 6-2,6-1
Exhibition: Molly Brooks (L) def. Francine White (UA) 8-2
Order of finish: 1,2,4,3,6,5
$ Match clincher.
UALBANY RECORDS: 6-3 (Overall); 0-2 (AmericaEast)
NEXT MATCH: Saturday, March 3, 7:00 p.m. vs. FAIRFIELD at Solaris Racket Club, Stamford, CT.
NEXT HOME MATCH: Thursday, March 8, 1:00 p.m. vs. ARMY at Sportime, Schenectady, NY.