Morgantown, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s tennis team opened the home season by defeating Akron, 4-3, at the Ridgeview Racquet Club in Morgantown on Saturday.
“Today was a hard-fought victory,” fourth-year coach Miha Lisac said. “It was good for us to come out on top. First of all, it is our first win of the season at home. I didn’t feel like we were able to find a lot of great tennis in us today. We were trying to find ourselves all day long.”
WVU withstood a strong Akron start as the Zips won two of the three doubles matches to earn the doubles' point. The Mountaineers picked up their first win of the match at the No. 3 doubles slot as the duo of Paula Goetz
and Yvon Martinez
bested Luisa Echeverry and Rita Pedroso, 6-2. The Zips then room the next two doubles matches. At No. 2 doubles, Habiba Shaker
and Lyn Yuen Choo
fell to Ariadna Blinova and Sophia Geier, 6-4. In the first doubles position, Akron’s Karalina Maksimava and Carli Knezevich defeated Kaja Mrgole
and Christina Jordan
The Mountaineers then rallied to take four of six singles matches. Mrgole dropped the first match in two sets, 6-1 and 6-0, to No. 121-ranked Sophia Geier at No. 2 singles. In the No. 1 slot, Shaker rallied after losing the first set to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. Goetz also bested Pedroso in three sets by a score of 6-0, 5-7 and 6-3 at the No.3 position. On the fifth court, Choo never trailed in the match and dropped Knezevich 6-1 and 6-2 for the Mountaineer’s third straight singles win. Jordan then secured the WVU victory in a hard-fought, three-set win over Akron’s Echeverry, 4-6, 7-5, and 6-4. In the final match of the afternoon, Yvon Martinez
fell to Maksimava, 6-4 and 6-2.
The Mountaineers will host border rival Maryland on Sunday starting at noon. The match is designated as MAC Appreciation Day, and members of the Baseline Club will be recognized during the intermission between doubles and singles. Free pizza will also be available for the first 150 fans in attendance. Fans are encouraged to stay after the match for a poster autograph signing with the team.
The Terrapins enter Sunday’s matchup with a 1-0 record as they beat Navy 5-2 on Jan. 25 in Annapolis, Maryland. Junior Ekaterina Tour leads Maryland in singles play and is ranked No.120 in the country. WVU is seeking its first win against Maryland in school history.
No. 1: Habiba Shaker
(WVU) def. Ariadna Blinova (UA) – 2-6, 6-2, 6-0
No. 2: Sophia Geier (UA) def. Kaja Mrgole
(WVU) – 6-1, 6-0
No. 3: Paula Goetz
(WVU) def. Rita Pedroso (UA) – 6-0, 5-7, 6-3
No. 6: Karalina Maksimava (UA) def. Yvon Martinez
(WVU) - 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 2, 1); Singles (2, 1, 3, 5, 4, 6)