Women's Tennis ACCtion: Saturday, February 20

Feb. 20, 2010

No. 2 Tar Heels Sweep ECU, UNCG
Fresh off a run to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship finals that pushed the team to its highest national ranking in program history, No. 2 North Carolina scored a pair of 7-0 wins over East Carolina and UNC Greensboro Saturday at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. No. 41 Sanaz Marand, the reigning ACC Player of the Week, dropped just two games in a pair of wins at No. 1 singles to lead the Tar Heels.

In the early match, Carolina (12-1) immediately took control with a trio of convincing doubles victories. Sophie Grabinski and Jelena Durisic got things started with an 8-3 win at No. 3, while Marand teamed with Katrina Tsang for an 8-4 win at No. 1 to clinch the point. The sophomore tandem of Shinann Featherston and Jocelyn Ffriend completed the sweep with an 8-4 win at No. 2.

Marand's 6-0, 6-0 win over Audrey LePottier highlighted UNC's six singles wins over the Pirates (5-3). Durisic, Zoe De Bruycker, Grabinski, Featherston and Linzee Mabrey added straight-set victories to give Carolina a 7-0 win.

Duke Battles to Tough Win Over No. 7 Michigan
Following a loss to North Carolina in the semifinal round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's National Team Indoor Championship last weekend, the sixth-ranked Blue Devils grinded out a 5-2 victory this afternoon against No. 7 Michigan at Ambler Stadium. The match, Duke's first one outdoors this season, was decided by a three-set battle between Duke's Elizabeth Plotkin and the Wolverines' Tania Mahtani at No. 3 singles.

Despite their strong record in doubles play this season, the Blue Devils struggled against Michigan, ultimately dropping the point. The duo of senior Elizabeth Plotkin and junior Reka Zsilinszka, ranked 24th-nationally, rolled to a quick 8-0 victory at the No. 2 position to lead Duke off the court.

Sophomore Monica Gorny and freshman Jessica Stiles surrendered an early lead at the No. 3 position, falling by a score of 8-5. In the deciding match, the Wolverines' Whitney Taney and Rika Tatsuno defeated junior Ellah Nze and senior Amanda Granson of Duke, 8-5, in a No.1 doubles match that lasted more than 90 minutes. After going 2-1 in doubles, Michigan took the 1-0 margin, putting the pressure on Duke to come up with victories in singles play.

Wake Forest Defeats Furman, 5-2
The Wake Forest women's tennis team claimed a 5-2 victory over the Furman Paladins on Saturday afternoon at the Indoor Tennis Center. The victory snapped a four-game losing skid for the Demon Deacons and improved the team record to 4-4 for 2010.

Wake Forest started out strong by winning each of the three doubles matches. Senior Sasha Kulikova and junior Emilee Malvehy once again had an impressive showing at the top doubles position, as they earned an 8-4 victory. The freshman duo of Kathryn Talbert and Anna Mydlowska teamed up for the first time this season at the number three doubles position to claim an 8-3 decision over Furman's Jennifer Betts and Olivia Maurice. This was the first match for Talbert since January 31st against Yale, as she has been sidelined the past two matches with an injury.

Malvehy continued to impress in singles play with a 6-0, 6-4 victory at the number two position. She now pushes her singles win streak to three games. Kulikova also took down Furman's Lauren Kline at the top singles spot by a score of 6-3, 6-2, and Talbert followed with a victory at the number three position. Senior Aileen Davis dropped her first set at the fourth singles spot by a score of 4-6, but then battled back in the second set to claim a 6-4 win. A 10 point super tiebreaker was then played, and Davis worked hard to defeat Furman's Susan Bitetti, 10-7.

Terps Earn First Win of the Season
The Maryland Terrapins (1-3, 0-1 ACC) scored their first win of the season Saturday in a 7-0 shut out of the University of Pennsylvania (2-3, 0-0 Ivy League).

Freshman Burce Kurkan continued her impressive season with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the Quaker's Emma Whitfield at No. 6 singles. Kurkan is now 3-1 on the year, and winner of her last three.

Maryland swept the doubles point for the second straight match getting wins from Lisa Miller and Maggie MacKeever, Jordan Hansbrough and Lexi Brand, and Julia Huschke and Burce Kurkan. For Kurkan and Huschke it is their second straight match with both singles and doubles victories.

Hokies prevail over Davidson, 4-3
The Virginia Tech women’s tennis team came out even on Saturday, squeaking out a 4-3 victory over Davidson at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center, after falling to VCU earlier in the day. The Hokies, who move to 4-3 on the season, handed Davidson their first loss on the young season, as the Wildcats move to 4-1.

Tech won three of the singles matches and earned two crucial victories in the doubles matches en route to victory.

In singles, Martha Blakely (Reading, Pa.) took the loss to Virginia Berry in the No. 1 slot, but the Hokies then saw three straight victories in the 2, 3 and 4 matches. Christin Newman (Greensboro, N.C.) dominated Alison Rauh, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2, while Yasmin Hamza (Cairo, Egypt) also earned a 6-1, 6-1 win over Teresa Wang in the No. 3 match.

Hokies drop 5-2 decision to No. 29 Rams
The Virginia Tech women’s tennis team dropped the first match of the day, 5-2, Saturday afternoon against No. 29 Virginia Commonwealth. The Rams improved to 6-2 on the year, while Tech fell to 3-3 on the year. The Hokies will play Davidson later Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on the Virginia Tech campus.

Tech, ranked No. 61 in this week’s ITA national poll, dropped two of the three doubles matches to relinquish the first point of the day, then lost four of the six singles contests.

In singles action, Martha Blakely (So. Reading, Pa.) defeated Ana Bara, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, in the No. 1 match and Courtney Rauscher (So., Evans, Ga.) won her No. 6 contest, 3-6, 6-4, 2-1 ret. over Olena Leonchuk.