The University at Albany women’s tennis team dropped a tough match to St. Bonaventure on their home courts, narrowly losing 4-3. The Danes were only able to capture one of the three doubles matches, thus the Bonnies took the coveted doubles point. In singles UA took three matches, #1, #4 and #6, but couldn’t break through in any of the others.
Rocio Lopez and Livia Gherman got the Danes started on the right foot, dominating the Bonnies’ #1 doubles team, 8-1. But UA couldn’t get either of the other two matches. The #3 team, Aubrey Brooks and Sarah Iannone edged ahead 5-4. Then their opponents steadied down and took charge of the net and the middle as they ran off four consecutive games to close out the Dream Team, 8-5. The Danes’ #2 squad, Cheryl Kukkonen and Kirsten Scott found themselves behind early in the match, but couldn’t manage their usual come back this time and lost the deciding match 8-2.
Going into singles, the Danes needed four wins. Early on it looked do-able. Kukkonen, Iannone and Lopez all started out in control, and we thought some other Dane would be able to break through for the fourth singles win. But it wasn’t to be today. Lopez ‘routined’ her Bonnie opponent at #1 and was “first off with a win”, taking the match 6-1,6-2. Brooks was up against a tough competitor at #5 and went down 6-1,6-2. Gherman dropped her first set 6-0, but got her intensity back and fought back to take a 4-3 lead in the second. Her opponent dug in and took 4 of the next 5 games to win the #2 singles spot, putting her team only one point away from victory. Scott, playing #3, was up against the proverbial human back board who got back even Scott’s best shots on the day. The Canadian freshman mounted a bit of a second set charge, but the human back board prevailed, clinching the match for St. Bonaventure.
Kukkonen dominated the first set, 6-1, then withstood a stubborn charge by an opponent who refused to fold, taking the second set 6-4. Iannone got the Danes their final point on the day. She took both sets with identical tiebreak scores of 7-5.
On Sunday, UAlbany heads to Poughkeepsie for a non-conference tilt against Marist, defending MAAC champions.
UALBANY 3 ST. BONAVENTURE 4
1. Lopez-Gherman (UA) def. Brossard-Pallikunnel (SB) 8-1
2. Amiri-Marin (SB) def. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) 8-2*
3. Kuas-Pavlovic (SB) def. Iannone-Brooks (UA) 8-5
Order of finish: 1,3,2.
*Doubles point clincher.
1. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Manuela Marin (SB) 6-1,6-2
2. Fatya Amiri (SB) def. Livia Gherman (UA) 6-0,7-5
3. Marisa Brossard (SB) def. Kirsten Scott (UA) 6-1,6-3$
4. Cheryl Kukkonen (UA) def. Amanda Pallikunnel (SB) 6-1,6-4
5. Kathryn Kuas (SB) def. Aubrey Brooks (UA) 6-1,6-2
6. Sarah Iannone (UA) def. Andrea Pavlovic (SB) 7-6(5), 7-6(5)
Order of finish: 1,5,2,3,4,6
UALBANY RECORDS: 7-7 (overall); 0-2 (AmericaEast)
NEXT MATCH: Sunday, March 25, 1:00 @ MARIST
NEXT HOME MATCH: Saturday, March 31, 1:00 vs. BRYANT
LAST HOME MATCH (Senior Day): Thursday, April 12, 1:00 vs. UMASS