(Albany, NY). UAlbany tennis pulled out the doubles point in thrilling fashion, then dominated the Stags in four of the six singles matches to move their record to 2-1 on the spring season. This match was originally scheduled at Sportime, but was wiped out by winter storm Nemo and rescheduled to the the Danes’ home practice facility, affectionately known as ‘The Bubble’.
The Danes started slowly in doubles, falling behind in all three positions. The new combo of Rocio Lopez and Irene Santos struggled out of the gate and fell behind 5-0, looking like they had never played together (which they hadn’t). The momentum began to change UA’s way as the #3 team of Sarah Iannone and Fran White started to click, forged a lead and stayed ahead to win the match 8-6 in a well-played match. #2 doubles, Cat Crummey and Mireille Hermans kept it close, but were behind on every changeover. In the meantime, it was “Vamos” time at #1 as the Spaniards got it going, and charged back from 7-2 down to tie the match, 7-7. Simultaneously the #2 team went into a tiebreak as well. The #1’s came up short, losing their tiebreak 8-6 and putting the outcome on the shoulders of the freshmen, Crummey-Hermans. The freshmen did not disappoint and came through with a solid tiebreak, winning it 7-5 to clinch the doubles point.
The Bubble affords only three match-worthy courts, so the top three singles matches went on, while 4,5 and 6 stayed on the sidelines to cheer. The Danes rode the wave of momentum they had generated from the doubles and took all three first sets. Lopez kept her winning streak alive by rolling over her Stag opponent in less than one hour. Santos started slowly, then she too went on a roll to win her first match as a Great Dane, 6-3,6-2. And Hermans, playing against a talented Stag at #1, played her even for two sets, winning the first 6-4 and coming so close in the second. Hermans was down 5-4, but serving up 40-love, one point from evening the second set when Yajima kicked into another gear, closed out the second and just kept rolling through the third.
Now the Danes were up 3-1 in matches won, and the 4,5 and 6 singles players took over. What little hope the Stags had left was quickly dashed as Crummey blitzed her left-handed opponent 6-1,6-1 to close out the match for the Danes. With the match clinched, the final two matches were switched to 8-game pro sets to speed up the finish. Iannone played solidly and dismissed the Stags’ #5 player 8-5 for the Danes final point on the day. At #6, White took awhile to get going, but for the last half of the match she showed the solid play that helped win a key doubles match earlier. However, she was not able to overcome her opponent’s lead.
It wasn’t a ‘massacre’, but it was a good Valentine’s Day win for the Danes, their second of the early season over a team that beaten them last season. Their record now stands at 2-1.
Next up for the squad is a social tennis venture: a “member-guest” mixer with members of the Sportime club in Schenectady, one of their two “home clubs”, tomorrow at 7pm.
Then Sunday they drive to West Point to play Quinnipiac at 2pm in Army’s indoor tennis center.
Coach Graham: “We had another good team effort today! We didn’t start well in doubles, but all three teams picked up the energy level and aggressiveness to take charge. Winning the doubles point was key to our overall team victory, and our #3 team of Iannone and White, who played their best yet, came through! Then we just played some dominating singles. A nice win in front of several UA staff and students, and others!”
UALBANY 5 FAIRFIELD 2
1. Yajima-Pirrello (F) def. Lopez-Santos (UA) 8-7 (6)
2. Hermans-Crummey (UA) def. Radde-Ryan (F) 8-7 (5)*
3. Iannone-White (UA) def. Jackson-Jamson (F) 8-6
Order of finish: 3,1,2.
*=Clinched doubles point.
1. Monica Yajima (F) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 4-6,6-4,6-0
2. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Sharissa Ryan (F) 6-1,6-1
3. Irene Santos (UA) def. Alison Radde (F) 6-3,6-2
4. Cat Crummey (UA) def. Tori Pirello (F) 6-1,6-1$$
5. Sarah Iannone (UA) def. Nikki Jackson (F) 8-5
6. Emma Jamson (F) def. Francine White (UA) 8-3
Order of finish: 2,3,1,4,5,6