Tennis Falls in Season Opener to No. 57 Ohio State
MORGANTOWN, W.Va – In its opening match of the season, the West Virginia University women’s tennis team was defeated by No. 57 Ohio State, 6-1, at the Ridgeview Racquet Club.
“The scores won’t exactly show it in this match, but we were very close with Ohio State,” said coach Tina Samara. “We are a young team that made some mistakes this afternoon, but I was really excited to get this team on the court and compete. We have potential.”
In doubles play, the Mountaineers were able to take the No. 2 doubles match, as the duo of Emily Mathis and Audrey Wooland defeated the Buckeyes’ Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele, 8-5.
Despite the loss at No. 2 doubles, OSU rebounded with 8-3 wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.
“Emily and Audrey played like the seniors that they are,” Samara said. “They played a very good, composed doubles match. Our underclassmen played a bit nervous, but we have to give Ohio State credit – they are a ranked team for a reason.”
In singles play, the Mountaineers lone win came from freshman Hailey Barrett. The win was Barrett’s first in a dual match.
“Hailey is proving why she had the accolades that she did coming in,” Samara said. “She worked out the nerves that she had in her doubles match and was able to control things in her singles match. She is going to have a big impact on this program in the future.”
In the No. 1 singles match, Wooland nearly upset No. 41 Kelsey Dieters, as she took the first set 6-3 and led late in the second set. However, Dieters rallied and was able to close out the match with second and third set victories of 7-5 and 6-2.
“Audrey had a tough time holding serves,” Samara said. “Audrey tried to slow the match down, but ultimately, she was unable to take the win and may have just run out of steam in the third set. It was a positive that she took the No. 41-ranked player in the country to that spot.”
The Buckeyes (1-0) would close out the match by sweeping the remaining singles matches.
“We need to see more consistency out of Ikttesh,” Samara said. “For Vivian, she still has a good bit of learning to do. She is usually a very good competitor, but today, she just didn’t have it. Lastly, with Emily, we saw what we usually see out of her. She brought a lot of determination and effort to the court.”
WVU (0-1) will return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 26, as it takes on in-state rival Marshall at 1 p.m., at the Ridgeview Racquet Club.
No. 1: No. 41 Kelsey Dieters (OSU) def. Audrey Wooland (WVU) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
No. 2: Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Ikttesh Chahal (WVU) 6-1, 7-5
No. 3: Hailey Barrett (WVU) def. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 4: Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Emily Mathis (WVU) 6-1, 6-0
No. 5: Noelle Malley (OSU) def. Vivian Tsui (WVU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 6: Nicole Flower (OSU) def. Irinka Toidze (WVU) 6-2, 6-0
No. 1: Kara Cecil/Kelsey Dieters (OSU) def. Ikttesh Chahal/Hailey Barrett (WVU) 8-3
No. 2: Emily Mathis/Audrey Wooland (WVU) def. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) 8-5
No: 3: Noelle Malley/Grainne O'Neill (OSU) def. Vivian Tsui/Irinka Toidze (WVU) 8-3
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