Morgantown, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s tennis team opened the match by taking the doubles point, but Virginia Tech won four straight singles matches to claim the victory, 4-3, in Morgantown at the Ridgeview Racquet Club on Saturday.
“I’m glad that we are giving ourselves opportunities to win the match,” fourth-year coach Miha Lisac said. “We have to continue to mature and grow and learn how to turn those opportunities in our favor.”
WVU opened the match with a strong start, winning two of the three doubles matches to earn the point. Junior Habiba Shaker
and freshman Sofía Duran opened the match with a 6-1 victory over Katherine Butler and Francesca Fusinato on the second court. The win marked Duran’s first collegiate win.
The Hokies would rally to win the second match of the day, 6-3, as No. 51 Elena Cerezo-Codina and Caroline Daxhelet topped senior Kaja Mrgole
and freshman Christina Jordan
at No.1. The focus switched to the third court as the doubles point was contingent on the match between West Virginia’s Lyn Yuen Choo
and Paula Goetz
and Virginia Tech’s Sansitha Nandakumar and Natalie Novotna. The Mountaineers won the tiebreaker, 7-6 (13-11), as Choo and Goetz were able to claim the point.
“I was very happy with the way we closed out the doubles point because it ended up being a very tough match on both sides.”
However, the momentum of the West Virginia doubles victory did not last long, as the Hokies earned victories in the first four singles matches. The first Hokies win of the day came when Novotna bested Goetz in two sets, 6-1 and 6-0 at No. 3. Mgrole then fell at No. 2 to Cerezo-Codina after dropping second set tiebreaker, 6-1, 7-5. At No. 1 singles, No. 66 ranked Fusinato powered past Shaker, 6-2, 6-2 to give the Hokies their third point. Jordan found herself up in the first set but was unable to finish off the set and ultimately fell to No. 52 Caroline Daxhelet, 7-5 and 6-3, at No. 4.
The Mountaineers were able to win the final two matches of the afternoon to finish the scoring, 4-3. Duran earned her first career singles victory with a 6-2, 7-5, victory over Katherine Butler at No. 6. Choo was able to earn another dramatic victory in the final match of the day, defeating Ghanem, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) at No. 5.
The Mountaineers will host in-state rival Marshall tomorrow at noon. The two schools will meet for the 39th time in a series that started 1973. WVU holds a 21-17 advantage over the Thundering Herd. The match is designated as a Gold Rush match, the first 50 fans in attendance will receive a free WVU tennis t-shirt. All fans are encouraged to wear gold to the match. Free pizza also will be available for the first 150 fans in attendance.
For the first time ever, WVU Tennis will offer a free shuttle to Sunday’s match at the Ridgeview Racquet Club. The shuttle will pick fans up at two campus locations starting at the Mountainlair at 11:20 a.m., before heading to Towers at 11:40 a.m. The shuttle will return downtown twice during the match.
The Thundering Herd enter Sunday’s matchup with a 5-2 record. Junior Maddie Silver leads Marshall in singles play, holding a 6-1 overall record. Anna Pomyatinskaya and Derya Turhan lead the Thundering Herd in doubles play with a 6-1 mark at the first position.
Live stats will be available at WVUlivestats.com. Updates from Sunday’s will also be available on Twitter by following @WVUtennis.
No. 1: #66 Francesca Fusinato (VT) def. Habiba Shaker
(WVU) - 6-2, 6-2
No. 2: Elena Cerezo-Codina (VT) def. Kaja Mrgole
(WVU) - 6-1, 7-5
No. 3: Natalie Novotna (VT) def. Paula Goetz
(WVU) - 6-1, 6-0
No. 5: Lyn Yuen Choo
(WVU) def. Nancy Ghanem (VT) - 6-4, 7-6 (10-8)
No. 6: Sofia Duran (WVU) def. Katherine Butler (VT) - 6-2, 7-5
No. 2: Habiba Shaker
/Sofia Duran (WVU) def. Katherine Butler/Francesca Fusinato (VT) 6-1
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1, 3); Singles (3,2,1,4,6,5)