(Hanover, NH). UAlbany lost the doubles point, but put on a strong rally in the singles before falling just a few games short of beating the Rams, a team that got them 6-1 last year. Rocio Lopez, Kirsten Scott and Irene Santos all pulled out singles wins for the Danes giving them three points in the top four singles spots.
Doubles went convincingly to the Rams as they dropped only nine games in the three matches.
Singles started after doubles and within 10 minutes the match had been evened at 1-1 as Santos’ opponent had to retire due to injury after one hard fought game in which Santos prevailed. Fordham was a very deep team, and their #5 and #6 players showed that as they swept both Sarah Iannone and Fran White without dropping a game. This put them on the edge of the team victory, leading 3-1
Now UA had to sweep the remaining singles to win. And they gave it a good go. Scott toyed with her opponent, before putting her away 6-1,6-2. In the meantime, Lopez and Hermans were both involved in tight matches that could have gone either way. Hermans match went to her opponent 6-2,6-3, clinching the team match for the Rams.
Undaunted, Lopez battled to the limit in what was a hotly contested match at #2 singles. Her Ram opponent had a nearly world-class backhand, but was vulnerable on the forehand wing. Lopez found that opening and worked it, mixing in high balls out of her strike zone, knifing slices and occasional dropshots. Lopez narrowly took the first set, only to have her opponent take the second set. In the match tiebreaker for the third set, Lopez bolted to within a point, 9-4 , then watched as her opponent ran off three points to 9-7. Then closed it out 10-7.
Coach Graham: “This one WAS as close as the score. We turned in a good singles performance after dropping the doubles point and nearly got it done today. If Cat Crummey (out with the flu) had been in our lineup we would have won, I’m convinced. But that said, we still could have pulled this out without her. 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.”
UALBANY 3 FORDHAM 4
1. Simidian-Ali (F) def. Santos-Lopez (UA) 8-4
2. Genkina-Novacek (F) def. Hermans-Iannone (UA) 8-4*
3. Davu-Leong (F) def. Scott-Kukkonen (UA) 8-1
Order of finish: 3,2,1
*=Clinched doubles point for Fordham
1. Irene Santos (UA) def. Amy Simidian (F) 1-0, retired, injury
2. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Sarah Ali (F) 7-5,3-6,1-0 (7)
3. Angie Dabu (F) def. Mireille Hermans (UA) 6-2,6-3 $
4. Kirsten Scott (UA) def. Bella Genkina (UA) 6-1,6-2
5. Julie Leong (F) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-0,6-0
6. Anika Novacek (F) def. Francine White (UA) 6-0,6-0
Order of finish: 1,5,6,4,3,2
$=Clinched match for Fordham
UALBANY RECORDS: 2-4 (overall); 0-0 (AmericaEast)
NEXT MATCH: Saturday, March 2, 9:30 a.m. at CORNELL
NEXT HOME MATCH: Sunday, March 3, 1:00 p.m. vs. RHODE ISLAND at Sportime, Schenectady, NY (15 min. from campus)