Tennis Knocks Off Marshall, Ends Drought
MORGANTOWN, W.Va – For the first time since 1998, the West Virginia University women’s tennis team defeated Marshall, 4-3, and ended a 10-match losing streak to their in-state foe.
“We were really happy to get a win against Marshall this afternoon,” said coach Tina Samara. “I wasn’t really aware that we had such a drought against them, but this is a quality win. As long as I can remember, Marshall has been a team that has been in the rankings year in and year out. With that being said, the win was nice, but there are still some improvements we need to make in order to get ready for Big 12 play. We are a young team that is going to face a tough schedule.”
The Mountaineers put themselves in an advantageous position early on, as they were able to take the team doubles point.
Freshman Hailey Barrett and sophomore Ikttesh Chahal were victorious, 8-4, over the Thundering Herds’ Dominika Zaprazna and Maria Voscekova. Also earning a doubles win for WVU were seniors Emily Mathis and Audrey Wooland, as they scored an 8-2 win over Kara Kucin and Ellie Ball.
“Winning the doubles point was really big for us, in fact, I would say it was huge,” Samara said. “We were capable of taking the doubles point last weekend against Ohio State, but there were some nerves because we had a couple of girls playing in their first collegiate dual match. Today, the girls were composed, and they were able to close out their matches.”
With the 1-0 advantage, WVU was able to carry momentum over into singles play.
Barrett earned her second-straight singles win, as she handled Voscekova, 6-3, 7-5.
“Hailey has really played with a great mindset during these first two matches,” Samara said. “She took care of business in singles play and doubles play. She handled the move to the No. 2 spot well, and we hope that she can continue playing the way she has.”
In addition to Barrett, Chahal and Mathis were able to score singles wins. Mathis defeated Karyln Timko 7-5, 6-2, while Chahal was victorious against Ellie Ball, 7-6 (4), 7-5.
“Ikttesh played a match that was a bit outside of her comfort zone, but she was able to fight,” Samara said. “She went down 5-1 in the second set, but she rallied with a 6-0 finish to take the set 7-5. In order for her to continue to playing like she did in the final six points of that second set, she needs to keep showing energy.
“I may sound like a broken record when it comes to Emily, but you know what to expect from her. She realizes her skill set, and she knows that she is going to battle for every single point.”
The win moves WVU to 1-1 this season, while Marshall drops to 2-1.
“As I said, this was a great win for our program, but we need to keep moving forward and improving,” Samara said. “Audrey’s play in the No. 1 spot has really brought energy to this team, Vivian (Tsui) showed glimpses of playing well during the fall, and we have Irinka (Toidze) and Jade Allen pushing each other for a spot in the lineup.”
The Mountaineers will return to the court next weekend, as they take on Syracuse on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 10 a.m., and Buffalo on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 11:30 a.m.
No. 1: Dominika Zaprazna (MU) def. Audrey Wooland (WVU), 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
No. 2: Hailey Barrett (WVU) def. Maria Voscekova (MU), 6-3, 7-5
No. 3: Ikttesh Chahal (WVU) def. Ellie Ball (MU), 7-6 (4), 7-5
No. 4: Emily Mathis (WVU) def. Karlyn Timko (MU), 7-5, 6-2
No. 5: Dana Oppinger (MU) def. Vivian Tsui (WVU), 7-6 (3), 6-4
No. 6: Kara Kucin (MU) def. Irinka Toidze (WVU), 6-1, 6-2
No. 1: Barrett/Chahal (WVU) def. Zaprazna/Voscekova, 8-4
No. 2: Mathis/ Wooland (WVU) def. Kucin/Ball, 8-2
No. 3: Timko/ Oppinger def. Jade Allen/Vivian Tsui, 8-1
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