Weekend Recap: Lopez Improves to 5-1; UAlbany Drops Two in New Hampshire

UAlbanyHANOVER, NH – The University at Albany women’s tennis team traveled to New Hampshire to play two non-conference away matches last weekend. On Saturday, they competed against Dartmouth University, dropping the match, 7-0. Sunday’s match against Fordham proved to be much more competitive, yet the Great Danes fell just short, 4-3. Sophomore Cheryl Kukkonen made her season debut in No. 3 doubles play while juniorRocio Lopez improved to 5-1 on the season.


The Big Green, who have only one loss on the season to Boston College, improved to 6-1 over the weekend. They swept UAlbany, giving up only eight games in total,. They won all six singles matches in straight sets.


The freshman duo of Cat Crummey and Mireille Hermans took Dartmouth by surprise, winning the first three games of the match. However, Janet Liu and Christina Danosi of the Big Green took eight of the next nine games to win, 8-4.


In singles play, senior Sarah Iannone played a tough match at the No. 6 singles position. She took seven games from Danosi, losing 6-3, 6-4. Hermans managed to pull out five games – losing to Suzy Tan at the No. 4 spot, 6-3, 6-2.


On Sunday, UAlbany (2-4) turned their attention to Fordham. The Rams were also defeated by Dartmouth on Saturday, 6-1. This match proved to have a much more even playing field. The Great Danes showed much improvement after losing to Fordam, 6-1 last season. 


The Rams came out strong in doubles play – taking all three matches. The competition’s first point was clinched at the No. 2 spot with Crummey and Hermans falling to Bella Genkina and Anika Novacek, 8-4. The No. 1 doubles team, Spanish teammates Lopez and Irene Bravo, also took four games.


The Great Danes charged back in singles play. They took three matches, coming just one short of upsetting the Rams for the victory.


The match of the day came at the No. 2 spot with Lopez defeating Sarah Ali. The Georgia Tech transfer has been sensational for the Great Danes this season, alternating between the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 singles spots. Lopez took the first set, 7-5, but then dropped set two 3-6. This created a third set, take-all, scenario. The match went into a tiebreak after a 6-6 stalemate. Lopez took the match, 10-8.


Elsewhere, Kirsten Scott returned from injury to grab her second victory of the season. The sophomore defeated Bella Genkina at the No. 4 spot rather easily, 6-1, 6-2. Bravo, ranked No. 443 by the WTA in 2010, won her match due to injury of her opponent. Angie Dabo clinched the match for Fordham at the No. 3 singles spot. She defeated Hermans, 6-2, 6-3.


“We turned in a good singles performance after dropping the doubles point and nearly got it done against Fordham,” said head coach Gordon Graham. “Santos, Scott and Lopez all won their singles. Lopez’ win was an entertaining match, one of the best UA matches in a long time.  The final score shows how much we have improved since our 6-1 loss to them last year.”


The Great Danes will conclude their current four-match roadstand next weekend. They battle Cornell on Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y., match-time set for 9:30 a.m. On Sunday, UAlbany comes home to play Rhode Island at SPORTIME in Schenectady, N.Y. Match-time is set for 11:00 a.m.


UALBANY 0 DARTMOUTH 7 (Saturday, Feb. 23)


1. Okuda-Bessen (D) def. Lopez-Santos (UA) 8-3*
2. Liu-Danosi (D) def. Hermans-Crummey (UA) 8-4
3. Keong-Tan (D) def. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) 8-1
Order of finish: 3,1,2
*= Clinched doubles point for Dartmouth

1. Sarah Leonard (D) def. Rocio Lopez (UA) 6-2,6-0
2. Katherine Yah (D) def. Irene Santos (UA) 6-0,6-1
3. Melissa Matsuoka (D) def. Kirsten Scott (UA) 6-0,6-2
4. Suzy Tan (D) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 6-3,6-2
5. Julienne Keong (D) def. Cat Crummey (UA) 6-1,6-0
6. Christina Danosi (D) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-3,6-4
Order of finish: 2,5,1,3,4,6
$=Clinched match for Dartmouth

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