The UAlbany women’s tennis team ended their spring break brace of matches with a 5-2 loss to an athletic, consistent Cleveland St. contingent at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton, FL. The match start time was pushed back an hour due to rain, and with more rain threatening, the coaches agreed to start singles first. The Danes prevailed at the top of both the singles and doubles lineups, but the Vikings depth proved to be the difference as they captured the bottom four singles matches to clinch the match before doubles was contested. As in their previous match, the Danes came close to taking the doubles point, but fell just short.
The singles matches started out in a gusty South Florida wind and the Vikings style of play was better suited to those conditions. They made few unforced errors, played with good margin on their shots and just kept more balls in the court than did the Danes in general. The Vikings dropped only three games in winning at #5 and #4. Grad student Livia Gherman then put the Danes on the board with a straight set win at #2 in which she won the final 9 games. Aubrey Brooks was next off as she went down 6-3,6-3 at #6.
With three points against them, UAlbany needed to win both remaining matches to force the outcome into the doubles. AmericaEast Player-of-the-Week, Rocio Lopez, kept hopes alive as she fought back from losing the first set to take the second set convincingly. But before she could start her third set, freshman Kirsten Scott finally succumbed to a steady, percentage player….match to the Vikings. In the 10 pt. tiebreaker played in lieu of a full third set, Lopez dug herself into a huge hole, down 6-1. However, she won 6 straight points to take the lead, then edged her big-hitting opponent 10-8 for the Danes second point.
In doubles, Brooks and Iannone dropped the #3 match. At #1, Lopez and Gherman persevered in a close one, 8-6. And Scott-Kukkonen lost in a tiebreaker at #2. So, on the day the Danes took three of the nine matches, and were close in a couple of others.
This spring break trip featured a good set of matches in which the Danes were tested by the elements and by two tough teams. The experience will undoubtedly help prepare them for the second half of their season as they head back to the Northeast for ten more dual matches (seven on the road) and then the AmericaEast tournament.
Next up is St. Bonaventure, Friday, March 23 at 1:00pm on the UAlbany varsity courts (outdoors). If weather is inclement, the match will be held in the bubble.
ADMISSION FREE!! Hope to SEE YOU THERE!!!
UALBANY 2 CLEVELAND ST. 5
1. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Caterine Bjerrehus (CSU) 4-6,6-1,1-0(8)
2. Livia Gherman (UA) def. Maria Lazaris (CSU) 7-5,6-0
3. Kara Sherwood (CSU) def. Kirsten Scott (UA) 6-3,6-4$
4. Nicole Janek (CSU) def. Cheryl Kukkonen (UA) 6-1,6-1
5. Alex Power (CSU) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-0,6-1
6. Mandy Liu (CSU) def. Aubrey Brooks (UA) 6-3,6-3
Order of finish: 5,4,2,6,3,1
1. Lopez-Gherman (UA) def. Bjerrehus-Power (CSU) 8-6
2. Lazaris-Janek (CSU) def. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) 8-7(3)*
3. Sherwood-Liu (CSU) def. Brooks-Iannone (UA) 8-2
Order of finish: 3,1,2.
*Doubles point clincher.
UALBANY RECORDS: 7-6 (overall); 0-2 (AmericaEast)
NEXT HOME MATCH: Friday, March 23, 1:00 p.m. vs. ST. BONAVENTURE