The Univ. at Albany women’s tennis team dropped their second consecutive “Senior Day” match, this time as visitors, to the Univ. of Rhode Island Rams, 6-1. Rocio Lopez returned to the doubles lineup for the first time since missing four straight matches and bolstered everybody’s spirits as she and her partner Livia Gherman won at #1. But the match of the day, the Danes only singles victory, went to freshman Kirsten Scott who prevailed in a long two-setter.
Back together at #1 doubles, Gherman and Lopez made short work of senior twin sisters, Kirsten and Tristany Leikam, 8-1…icing on her 21st birthday cake for Lopez. At #2 and #3 doubles, the Danes were always within striking distance, but lost both 8-6. Sarah Iannone and Aubrey Brooks got up 6-5, with a point to go up 7-5, but were unable to close it out and their Ram opponents took 3 straight games to win the match. Scott and Cheryl Kukkonen hung close, but could never get the match evened up. Interestingly, the Rams #2 and #3 teams both employed the seldom-seen “2-back on the serve” formation and won a surprising number of those games.
The Danes needed four singles wins, but were unable to make any headway dropping the #4,5,6 and 3 matches, respectively, before the top two singles matches had completed their first sets. For the next hour+, everyone was watching Gherman (#1) and Scott (#2). Gherman got off to a commanding 5-2 lead only to have her opponent charge back with five straight games to take the first set. Undaunted, the Dane grad student kept attacking the solid baseliner, Emery, to take the second set 6-4. The Ram senior edged Gherman 10-7 in the decisive match-tiebreak.
Scott, meanwhile, played yet another strong outdoor match, this one on slow courts with a moderate wind. The freshman did a good job of point building and even some good defense when needed. Then when she got the shot she was looking for she went into attack mode with her aggressive forehand to take charge of the point. Still it was a real battle against a quality opponent, compounded by an injury to Scott’s leg, a strain of the calf muscle, which she managed to work through in this 2+ hour conclusion to the Rams’ Senior Day.
The Danes have a quick turnaround. They take on the Providence Friars Sunday morning before heading back to campus and their last regular season match vs. conference rival Hartford on Thursday in Hartford.
UALBANY 1 RHODE ISLAND 6
1. Lopez-Gherman (UA) def. Leikam-Leikam (URI) 8-1
2. Uy-Asocaraj (URI) def. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) 8-6
3. Emery-Wojciak (URI) def. Brooks-Iannone (UA) 8-6*
Order of finish: 1,2,3.
*Doubles point clincher.
1. Pam Emery (URI) def. Livia Gherman (UA) 7-5,4-6,1-0(7)
2. Kirsten Scott (UA) def. Kirsten Leikam (URI) 7-6(2),7-5
3. Tristany Leikam (URI) def. Cheryl Kukkonen (UA) 6-0,6-3
4. Kathleen Uy (URI) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-1,6-0
5. Nithila Asocaraj (URI) def. Aubrey Brooks (UA) 6-3,6-0
6. Karolina Wojciak (URI) def. Francine White (UA) 6-1,6-1 $
Order of finish: 4,5,6,3,1,2.
$ Match clincher
UALBANY RECORDS: 8-13 (Overall); 0-4 (AmericaEast)
NEXT MATCH: Sunday, April 15, 10:00 a.m. @ Providence College